And so I have a few external HDs lying around with some sensitive documents and information. They are not password protected nor encrypted. Mostly family photos and tax documents and backups from computers that came and went over the years. 1) I really don't understand why I would need to encrypt if they were password protected. Documents on computers are normally not encrypted(?) and we seem to rely on passwords to keep unwanted visitors off our computers- same at the office. 2) But can I password protect a hard drive that is already filled with documents or did that need to be done already and with a security program installed first? 3) I have read about programs like TrueCrypt, AxCrypt or StorageCrypt. Maybe they are great but perhaps not needed? All I really care about is that it's difficult to read the hard drives but other than identity theft we are not talking about national security. This article suggests that even to password protect I need a program. How to Set Up a Password on Western Digital External Hard Drives I imagine then I would have to offload data, install a program, then reinstall the data to that hard drive. At any rate, reading about Western Digital hard drives that feature- Western Digital Security is a free software from Western Digital (popularly known as WD) to password protect WD external hard drives. Maybe I will call them and find out if included in newer models.