Evernote: Protecting Information Through Encryption

By David E. Y. Sarna

Security and privacy are important concerns when you’re working with Evernote, which contains all your valuable information. You have the ability to encrypt your own notes, making it easier to protect billing information, bank and credit cards, or your tax information.

The process and the mechanics are very similar on Windows PCs and Macs.

An open Evernote note with sensitive information that should be encrypted.

1Highlight the text to be encrypted.

This figure shows an example note that you may want to encrypt.

2Right-click the highlighted text and choose Encrypt Selected Text from the contextual menu.

Alternatively, press Ctrl+Shift+X (Windows), or Control-click (Mac) and choose Encrypt Selected Text from the contextual menu.

The Note Encryption dialog box appears.

The Note Encryption menu in Evernote.

3Enter an encryption passphrase, verify it, and click OK.

Use a passphrase that you can remember easily. You might try saving passphrases to a spreadsheet, but this method may not be the best one for you. You don’t want to save your passphrase as a note, because that would defeat the purpose of encrypting it.

A note with encrypted text.

4(Optional) Select the hint option if you’re at risk of forgetting the passphrase.

Evernote can’t recover your passphrase, so do not use this feature in case you don’t remember your passphrase when you need to get into the note.

Your text is now encrypted and looks something like this figure. You will know there is encrypted text in a note when you see a series of dots, but you won’t be able to read it, and nothing indicates how much text is hidden.

5To see the encrypted text, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) the encrypted text symbol (the series of dots), and then choose Show Encrypted Text from the contextual menu.

To remove encryption, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) the encrypted selection, and then choose Decrypt Text Permanently from the contextual menu. If you want to decrypt permanently, you’ll be prompted to enter the passphrase.

Evernote does not store your password and can’t recover it. If you forget it, you can’t access the text if you close out of Evernote. Write down your password!