This post is inspired by the previous post Excel Humor #9 – You do not see me
Suppose you are going to share an Excel workbook to your colleagues. However there is a worksheet with sensitive data that you don’t want them to see. So you hide the worksheet. As you know Excel well, you further Protect Workbook, with password set, in order to avoid user from unhiding the worksheet.
Now you are pretty sure that no one can unhide the worksheet, without the password.
YES! BUT… ARE YOU SURE NO ONE CAN SEE THE DATA ON IT?
Here’s a simple trick to look into the data on the hidden sheet. Indeed I don’t even need to unhide the worksheet to get the data on it.
Did you notice that the name of the hidden worksheet was disclosed in the VB Editor? That’s the window you saw after clicking “View Code” in the above screencast.
From there, I know that the Hidden Sheet is called “Secret“.
With this little piece of information, anyone can retrieve the data on any cell on the worksheet easily.
See?! What I did was just a simple formula of referencing:
Secret No More!!!
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not encouraging you to hack into data that is not intended for you. My point here is:
DO NOT include sensitive/confidential/private data in a workbook at all, if the recipients are not supposed to read that.