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Secure PDFs to Prevent Alterations

With so many digital documents traveling across the internet every day, you might have wondered whether it’s possible for third parties – or even clients – to alter these documents and whether you need to secure a PDF before sending it. One of the main concerns here is that should alterations before signing be possible, what is to prevent a client from doing just that?

Today we’re discussing the reality of unsecured documents and how you can prevent people from making changes to your PDFs after you send them. Understanding safety protocols and how to avoid documentation fraud can significantly impact your quality of life, especially if you send documents to clients for signing regularly.

Understanding Unsecured Documents and Their Risks

To explain briefly, unsecured digital documents create opportunities to exploit said documents. Whether you think your clients are capable of fraud in this sense is a different story, but as things go in the digital age, cybersecurity best practices are never regretted.

The risks that unsecured documents create range from forgery to fraud to leaking sensitive information meant only for the eyes of your client and your business. Depending on the type of business you have, the implications of these documents being altered or leaked can differ drastically. However, one thing remains true: preventative measures are the best solutions.

Ways to Defend Your Documents With Kofax Power PDF

Protecting your critical documents doesn’t have to be difficult, and with Power PDF, it never is. Here are some of the best ways to ensure your documents aren’t altered or in the wrong hands.

  • Save your Word Documents as PDFs. As a precursor, it’s important to note that anyone can save their Word Documents as PDF files. Since Word files are much easier to alter, saving them as PDFs will prevent simple alterations.
  • Encrypt your PDFs. While PDFs are not editable in Word, the latest versions of Word try to work around this by converting the PDF itself to a Word file through pattern recognition and file reconstruction. This process is not 100% effective. Using password-based encryption on your PDFs will prevent unauthorized users from opening the document, not to mention altering it.
  • Prevent Editing of the PDF. Securing the PDF with a password is one thing, but you might also want to disallow people from editing the document even if they have the password. With Power PDF, this process is simple:
    1. Open the document in Power PDF.
    2. Navigate to the Security Tab and click ‘Manage Security’.
    3. Check the box that reads ‘Set a Password to restrict editing of security settings’ and enter a password.
    4. Set the restrictions you want on the file. These can include disallowing printing or editing. You can even prevent copying the text and images in the document.
    5. Press OK and save the document.
  • Save Form-Fillable PDFs as Read-Only. To save your form-fillable PDFs as read-only, follow the same steps you would to prevent editing of the PDF, but with an additional step: flattening the document as this removes form features. Here’s how you do it:
    1. With the file open in Power PDF, select ‘Advanced Processing’.
    2. Select ‘Process’.
    3. Select ‘Flatten’ and set the options to desired limitations.
    4. Click OK and save your flattened document. People can now no longer fill in the forms.

With the use of Power PDFs AES-256 password encryption, the removal of editing privileges and the removal of form-filling features, you can already add immense security to your document. Always follow these best practices to keep your business documents safer.

If you do not have Power PDF, we offer a 15-day free trial so that you can try out the features for yourself. Alternatively, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee should you decide not to buy.

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