Using Adobe Acrobat to password protect PDF documents
PDF documents are a popular and convenient choice used by millions of users around the world as a file format for distributing data containing images and text in a consistently reliable display format. Since this type of document can be opened on practically any operating system or platform, without any change in the fonts, format and layout on screen and print, it continues to stay relevant for personal and professional use.
For security and confidentiality, PDF documents can be password protected to restrict the viewing of the content only to selected users, or they can be secured by modifying the permission settings to prevent modification of the file contents and printing.
In order to password protect a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat:
- Click ‘File’ which is on the top horizontal toolbar.
- Select ‘open’ by scrolling down the drop-down list.
- With the help of the browser window, password-protect the file that you wish to select.
- Go to the ‘Security’ tab in the properties dialogue box.
- Select ‘Password Security’ in the top drop-down box instead of ‘No Security’.
Look for the PDF password security dialogue box when it comes up. Determine the choices you would like to take as to the levels of security you are seeking to use.
- Right on top, choose the version of Adobe Acrobat that your readers are likely to have. Here you can decide whether you wish to encrypt all the information in the file, or you might want to encrypt only the attachments. Doing so can make it difficult for unauthorised users to access or read your document.
- Here, you can also choose whether you wish to put in a password only for opening the file or a password for making modifications to the content. If you choose to select the option of using a password only for opening the document, go to the first option and type in the password of your choice.
- If you are looking for added security, that is you need a password to prevent unauthorised editing, go to the second option and select the option of restricting the commands of editing and printing. Type in the password that you want to use for this option. Choose the kind of editing you want to restrain in the drop down box below the password.
- Once you have made your selections, click ‘OK’. You will once again be asked to confirm your password before the changes are permanently saved.
Now, the PDF document you have created is password protected. Any user who intends to use it must have the password you have created in order to read, modify or print the document.
If you have applied just a restrictions password, you and other users, will not need to enter the password in order to open the PDF file, but if you intend to make modifications to the permission settings for the PDF file, you will need to enter the password that you had initially created.
However, using passwords to protect PDF documents that contain classified or sensitive information is no longer relevant in today’s highly advanced technological world. PDF documents that have been password protected can be easily unprotected with the help of simple PDF password cracking solutions which are easily found on the Internet. Document restrictions (those ‘protected’ with the permissions password) can be removed in seconds and document owner passwords can take minutes to hours depending on the length and complexity of the password.
The right way to ensure that your sensitive data in your PDF documents remains secure is to use high-level strength encryption methods such as public key technology, secure and transparent key transmission, and encrypted key storage. LockLizard is one of the leading PDF document protection software companies that use US government strength encryption, public key technology and Digital Rights Management to protect PDF files beyond simple password protection. LockLizard’s PDF protection is used worldwide by information publishers to protect PDF files from unauthorized access and misuse.