I downloaded the NOOBS program at the Raspberry Pi download page. I next was ready to decompress the file and get the message NOOBS_v1_4_0.zip is password protected. What do I use as a password?
This file is not password protected (I just verified by downloading from here and extracting). Also, there is no mention of a password anywhere and nobody with a similar problem on the internet (at least at a cursory glance). The most likely cause is a corrupt or interrupted download.
If you are curious and want to narrow down the problem before re-downloading, you may verify the hash using whatever tool you have available (e.g. fciv on Windows, sha1sum on Linux/OSX). The SHA-1 hash of the file is given on that site:
Please refer to the official site for the actual hash, as it will change from the above as new versions are released (and as a rule you should only trust official sources anyways).
In any case, I suggest redownloading the file and trying again. You may wish to download it via the torrent link instead of downloading the file directly (just be sure to use the official torrent link, not the result of some random torrent search engine), as generally all torrent clients will ensure that the downloaded data is not corrupt, and support resume after connection fail more smoothly than HTTP.
Also, as Michael Hampton cautions, be sure you are only downloading from the official raspberrypi.org download site. Verifying the hash against the one given on the site is the surest way to make sure you have safely downloaded the official file.