Importance Of Secure PDF Documents.

Importance Of Secure PDF Documents

Source Wikipedia

There are lots of reasons to make your PDF (Portable Document Format) documents secure.  A PDF document is an open standard for document exchange.  According to Wikipedia, PDF was created by Adobe Systems in 1993 and is used for representing documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems.  PDF is a standard for encoding documents in an “as printed” form that is portable between systems and is widely used for distribution and archival of documents.  It has become an essential document format.  A PDF file is readable on multiple operating systems, in a variety of programs, and is able to keep document formatting regardless of the device, operating system, or program it is viewed on.  Users can also easily organise PDFs, bookmark pages for reading later, or even convert a PDF to eBook format.  So many people rely on PDFs for personal and business use it is very important to make sure they are very secure. Here are some tips:  They be can be secured using public keys and/or passwords (but you should, be aware that it is possible to allow print-only access to a file even without the password.)  Many believe that by simply creating a PDF, a document has been secured, therefore making it no longer possible to extract text or images or any other information from the created PDF document. This is not true.  It is not that simple and, in fact, not all PDFs are created equally.  Just because a document is created as a PDF does not mean it is secure.  In order to have a truly secure document that is protected, it is necessary to specially encrypt the PDF when it is created. This article has some great advice, Blogger Sharon D. Nelson, Esq. and I quote from the article.

In order to properly secure an Adobe document, John [Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises Inc.] advises a ‘two-step’ test.

The first step is to apply a password to the Adobe document that restricts any changes to the document (a “Change Permissions Password”). The second step is to apply an “Open Document” password. When both of these are, applied, the PDF password cracker programs cannot get ‘at’ the flag that controls the editing of the document.

You provide your client with the “Open Document” password but not the “Change Permissions Password”. This way they can view the contents of the document, but they have no ability to edit the document.

Using this dual password method, the software that is used to ‘crack’ the Adobe document password cannot get at the ‘flag’ and therefore cannot be used to break the security of the document (at least at this time).

The next time you are creating an important PDF document, please take the extra steps to make them secure.

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