PDF Security for document protection

5 Tips on Ensuring the Security of Your Documents While Working from Home

Digitization of your files and documents is like a double-edged sword.  On one hand, it makes data accessible to your remote workers.  But on the other hand, it can leave crucial documents vulnerable to potential cyberattacks.

Having different types of document management systems may not be enough.  You need to make sure that your documents are protected as well.

With the rise of remote work, this vulnerability is becoming increasingly apparent and urgent. According to the Ponemon Institute, 47% of businesses struggle to control the risks created by the lack of physical security in their remote workers’ homes.  But with the right tools and strategies, you can protect your documents and intellectual property from harmful access.

With that in mind, here are some tips to ensure security in your document management process while working from home.

1. Use passwords

Setting passwords is a quick way to keep unauthorized users from accessing your documents.  You can implement them in your electronic database or storage, your devices, your accounts, and your business applications.  You can browse through a comprehensive list of document management systems and options that allows you to set passwords for each file you have.

Nonetheless, passwords alone can be a flimsy form of protection against cyberattacks.  Anyone can can use password recovery tools to brute force their way into your systems and steal your content.  Hence, you need to supplement other tools and strategies to add layers to your document protection.

2. Encrypt all your files

Fortify your document protection through encryption.  This process involves scrambling your plain text into an unreadable format or “ciphertext” to hide its true content or meaning.  This is an effective way of ensuring confidentiality and privacy from prying eyes in the digital space.

Having encrypted documents makes it tougher for hackers to read and access its content.  They must first figure out how to decipher the code hiding your content before they can get the data they want.

Hence, invest in document management services that will allow you to encrypt all your files individually rather than just encrypting your database as a whole.  This way, you can rest assured that the contents of your files are inaccessible even during breaches or leaks.

3. Control document access and uses

Prevent leakage during document sharing by setting limitations for document access and use.  You need to determine who can use these files and how they can use them.  For example, you can restrict your documents for viewing only and prevent others from saving, sharing, printing, copying, or modifying them.

Aside from setting up restrictions, you may also track document prints, edits, and views.  You can trace where it goes, who uses it, and what they do to it.  This allows you to spot any anomalous access or activities in your files.

There are several tools you can use to implement such functionality.  Microsoft Office, for example, allows you to customize your file’s security and privacy setting however you want.  Most PDF software also has this feature.  But for more in-depth and comprehensive control over your documents, consider investing in third-party document or PDF security tools that uses DRM.

4. Lock documents to certain devices

Another way to limit access to your documents is by locking your documents to specific devices.  Doing so ensures that your files can only be opened using authorized devices.  In the event that your documents got leaked, intercepted, or stolen, its content remains inaccessible and unviewable to outsiders.

Just make sure to train and educate your remote employees on how to protect their devices from unauthorized access.  You can also establish policies such as:

  • Requiring passwords for all their devices
  • Locking their screens whenever they leave their desks or laptops even for a short time
  • Avoid installing unknown applications onto their devices
  • Being wary of opening unknown links or attachments

5. Add watermarks on your files

Aside from securing your documents, you should also think about protecting the actual content of your files – especially if it is your original work.  Nowadays, many nefarious people could steal your content and pretend that it’s theirs.  Worse, you might not even notice that someone else is already using your content for their own gain.

Consider adding watermarks to your documents.  This places a semi-transparent line of text, symbol, or logo within your files to make it clear that the rights belong to you, your remote workers, or your business.  With PDF DRM software, watermarks cannot be erased or removed.  So when someone tries to print, send, or post it, your watermarks will still be there.

This is a great way for content creators to protect their intellectual property rights.  For example, people with journalism degrees can prevent their articles from being stolen by adding watermarks to their files.

Keep documents protected

As your business shifts towards remote work, you need to make sure that your documents and content are well-protected.  So keep an eye out for software with features that will allow you to secure your documents using various means and methods.  To give you a head start, check out Locklizard.