Securing PDFs

Administrative Expert and Creative Writer

PDF or portable document format files have proven to be one of the safest and most convenient ways to distribute confidential information on the Internet. Also, this format is the most universally used and compatible across most devices and platforms.

In this ever-evolving digital age, there is an increased emphasis on securing PDFs, whether business or personal. And this reflects the rising importance of safeguarding sensitive information and the growing concerns around it. For businesses or institutions, the impact of unauthorized data access and data breaches has become pronounced. It is the same for individuals because people are becoming reliant on digital documents for transactions and communications.

As you might be aware, PDFs encapsulate a wealth of information, including medical reports, confidential business reports, and research papers. Hence, PDFs have emerged as one of the prime targets of cybercriminals. Although this format is the most used, most people forget to utilize its high level of security within the file itself. For instance, password protection is an in-built security, and you can quickly protect your PDF documents using a password before sharing them.

However, there’s a slight drawback to protecting documents using a password, especially for businesses receiving multiple documents throughout the day. It can be viewed as an inconvenience to remember the different passwords when all you need to do is take a peek inside the document. One solution is to have a solid password manager, and the next is to remove passwords from PDF documents so that the PDF is unlocked and you don’t have to constantly go back and forth between protected files. To learn your options on how to remove passwords for PDF files, click on this blog by Setapp:

Now that you know how to remove passwords for PDFs if it is an inconvenience, let’s move on to learning a few reasons the world is hell-bent on securing PDFs.

  • Limiting Access

Locking the PDF ensures the document remains unchanged. Also, it limits the number of people who can see the document. This is particularly true if the document contains sensitive, confidential information. If the document is not secured using encryption or a password, anybody can access the information and may even use it for malicious activities.

Hence, securing a PDF means the document can only be read by an authorized person.

  • Maintaining The Content’s Integrity

If you want to stop people from making changes to your PDF document, the best solution is to secure the document. Do not give permission to anyone to alter the information in the document. This will ensure the maintenance of content integrity. The easiest way of ensuring this is simply locking the document.

Locked documents are also saved from accidental changes.

  • Protecting Copyright

Protecting intellectual properties stored in the documents is one of the primary reasons why people secure PDF files. If you are careless, you risk your work being produced by others, and you might find that stopping the process is expensive and time-consuming.

As per the copyright law, it is the owner of the original work who must protect his or her work from being reproduced by someone else. If anybody attempts to reproduce your work, there are hefty fines. Hence, simply encrypting the document with a password and locking it may save you from a headache. Nobody can share or copy a locked document without authorization from the owner.

  • Stopping Unwanted Sharing

Although PDF files are widely used because they seem convenient and can be shared across platforms and devices, you may not want your document to be shared with everyone and everywhere. Locking your document is the simplest solution to stop unwanted sharing.

Since these documents can be so easily shared, any person having access to the document can leak the information in the document. This can be a problem if the document contains classified or confidential information.

Hence, if you only want your file to be shared with a specific number of people, you can lock it to prevent further sharing.

  • Preventing Unwanted Printing

If someone wants to wrongly use the information in your PDF document, they will make use of every possible way to get hold of the information. For instance, they may try to share it with others or try to print the document. But if you have secured and locked your PDF file, the document will be prevented from being printed. This will discourage the unwanted distribution of the document.

Often, people who are stopped from sharing the document find the easy workaround of printing the document. You must use the appropriate tools to disable the printing option on your PDF files.

Also Read: Business Plan Example & Tools for Startup

The Bottom Line

To sum up, the world is hell-bent on securing PDF documents to keep information safe from cybercriminals and other unauthorized personnel. It is also because they want to stop the unwanted sharing and printing of their confidential information in the document.

So, whether you are an individual or running a business, ensure your documents are always locked and protected.

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