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How to restrict sharing and printing of a PDF

Updated By Tom On Aug 30, 2022, 5:45 pm

Suppose you have stored sensitive information in PDF files, such as Social Security numbers, credit card details, or other personally identifiable information. In that case, you need to safeguard your data securely. Unfortunately, keeping classified data secure from misuse such as unauthorized sharing and printing of your PDF files in today's digital world is not as easy as just placing a password on the document. 

That's because even if your PDF files are password-protected, once it reaches the recipient, you cannot restrict how the user acts with your content, and they could be free to share and print your PDF content without your knowledge.

Related products recommendation: PDF encryption and decryption tool.

Even if you take every precaution with your PDF files, there are ways that information could end up with unauthorized individuals and become vulnerable to data theft or leakage. The more sensitive and confidential information you store in your PDF files and the more diverse places and locations it is stored in, the more you leave your PDF files vulnerable to criminal activity or unintentional loss. Since PDF files can be easily shared, edited, copied, and printed without one's knowledge, it has become widespread. Therefore, to avoid becoming a statistic within information theft or a data breach, you need to protect your PDF files from private individuals, entities, and any individual not authorized to share, copy, edit or print your PDF documents.

Related reading: How To Split PDF Files.

How to know which PDF files must not be shared or printed

As an employee, you may have in your possession a good deal of information that is considered valuable and classified, such as IPR, company information, financial details, strategic information, customer details and more. Similarly, as an individual, your classified information could comprise content and sensitive data that matter to you, such as your banking information, credit card details, tax information, Social Security credentials, essential emails, images and more.

When it comes to keeping information, cybercriminals are looking to steal all your vital pieces of documentation mentioned above. They do so to hold you to ransom, damage your reputation intentionally or sell it for financial incentives, either for their personal gain or professional upkeep. 

Unfortunately, both individuals and employees tend to store sensitive information in various places that may be left open to misuse or theft. So, if you place yourself in the shoes of the cybercriminal, how would you attempt to steal the information that they are looking for so desperately? Once you learn to understand what a cybercriminal or hacker is looking to steal from you, you may want to improve opportunities for protecting your own or company information appropriately. But, again, the idea is not about becoming one of them, but rather imagining how they think to know what steps they may take to gain access to your data and take advantage of it.

Adopting the right security strategy to prevent sharing and printing

  • Proactively prevent data attacks.
  • Protect your information end-to-end and prevent your data from being accessed without your knowledge.
  • Safeguard your intellectual property to prevent unauthorized users from sharing, copying, editing or printing your documents.
  • Protect your rights as a copyright holder and prevent unauthorized recipients from modifying or distributing your document without your knowledge.
  • Offer you complete control over what the user is doing with your document.
  • Prevent users from accessing and using specific creative assets.
  • Enable you to automatically expire content after a period of time or use.
  • Enable you to revoke documents remotely.
  • Provide you with logs so you can track how your PDF files are being used.
  • Prevent any recipient from making unauthorized copies of your copyrighted content.
  • Embed dynamic watermarks in your PDF document to identify the user.
  • Conclusion

    PDF DRM protects your PDF documents from misuse by preventing the unauthorized sharing, editing, copying and printing of your documents. With complete access controls, you can restrict how an authorized user uses the content you've sent to them. This not only protects your PDF files from being misrepresented or modified it also safeguards your profitability. In addition, with PDF DRM, you can also restrict how many times the user is accessing your content and on which devices and locations. PDF DRM proactively handles illegal filesharing and piracy and assures that you can adequately protect your intellectual property from unauthorized access and misuse.