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Unlocking password protected PDFs

Unlocking password protected PDFs
A well-known technology website offered technical experts the opportunity to crack a 10,000+ entry-encrypted password document and asked them to breach into the security of the file. The winner of the project was able to get over 95 percent of the entries while the other participants were able to crack 75 percent, in just a matter of few hours. How the ‘crackers’ did it was through the unfortunate and irresponsible use of non-randomized passwords by the account holders. Some of the commonly used passwords in the encrypted file included “123456,” “1234567,” “password,” hello123,” “hello1,” “admin” etc.

Locking PDF documents with passwords is an extremely sensitive concern given the value and importance of the contents contained within them. Having said that, it is also important for users to be extremely cautious when sharing PDF files and documents amongst one another, as this may cause documents to be inadvertently leaked to unauthorized parties. There have been cases where even after much caution; documents have fallen into unintended hands. This is why it is extremely significant to integrate additional safety measures to documents such as a strong PDF passwords.

Unlocking password protected PDFs is more likely if the password protecting them is simple and weak – PDF documents are only as safe as the passwords that are safeguarding them. To prevent the data breach of a PDF file, make use of passwords that are more than seven characters long and that also include at least one number and one special character. Experts widely agree that simple words such as a straight dictionary word should not be used. Also, refrain from using short length passwords.

How to apply a password to a PDF file

  1. When you open a PDF document, click on the ‘Secure’ button on the Security taskbar.
  2. Select the option ‘Encrypt with Password’. When the dialog box opens, press OK. This verifies that you want the selected PDF to have password security applied to it. The Password Security Settings dialog box will then be displayed.
  3. Chose the “Require a Password’ in order to “Open the Document” check box. In the text box, enter a password and ensure that the password you use is more than seven characters with the inclusion of at least one number and special symbol. Press OK.
  4. Re-enter the PDF password and press OK once more.

This is one of the most primary forms of security you can add to a PDF file and it prevents unauthorized users from opening the document. If needed, additional layers of security can be added to the document such as limiting the editing and printing of the PDF document and this requires an additional password to be set.

Passwords are just the initial piece of protection for a PDF document. Keeping PDF files and documents safe requires an exhaustive procedure for powerful password conception and an easy to use method for users to conform to, to ensure the safety of the those passwords.

To ensure that your PDF documents are properly protected, consider opting for a professional document security solution that does not rely on passwords to keep documents safe. Not using passwords means you do not have to rely on users choosing strong passwords, storing those passwords securely, and administrators managing passwords on behalf of users.

Posted on 20th January 2016 in articles

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