Protecting PDF Files to Prevent Sharing

People will access your important PDF files in the course of your business. But, do you have control over your files, even after they have been sent out? How can you stop users from forwarding your documents to the wrong people?  Or prevent authorized users (those that have been given access) misusing your documents by editing or copying text?

You need to be able to exert some control over your PDF files, even after they have been shared with others. We look at how you can do that below. Though if you need pdf converter to word, you will get many online tools for doing that easily.

The Problems You Might Encounter

Two of the simplest ways of protecting PDF files are passwords and encryption. The problem with passwords is that an authorized person can share the file and its password with others, who will then have access to the file. Also, some may use password removal programs to access password-protected documents.

When using ecnryption, the file is only secure as long as it stays encrypted. Once it has been decrypted by the authorized users, they can copy and paste the content into another application or modify and edit the content as they wish.

So, you need an advanced security technology solution like DRM along with licensing controls which can make your PDFs ultrasecure.

How Can DRM Help?

DRM provides many security features that help protect your PDF files by using a combination of encryption, an advanced form of access rights, licensing controls, and various other security techniques. As a result, even if someone shares your PDF with unauthorized users, the unauthorized users will not have access to your content. Also, by using DRM, you can control what authorized users can do with your PDF files.

Below are some of the methods used by DRM security for PDF protection.

Prevent Access to a PDF Forwarded through Emails

You cannot stop PDF files from being forwarded through emails, but you can stop the email recipients from opening those files. A DRM-protected PDF file can be emailed to others by an authorized user, but the recipients will not be able to view it unless you authorize them to do so. This equally applies to protected PDF files downloaded from the Internet – only those authorized will be able to view them.

Stop PDF Editing and Modification

DRM stops PDF editing or modifying by default and there is no option in PDF viewers that can be enabled for users to edit or modify your PDF’s content. By not allowing the editing of your PDF files, you also stop content copying.

Prevent Content from Being Copied and Pasted

With a DRM, the copy and paste options are unavailable and content cannot be selected. As a result, it is impossible to copy content and paste it to another document.

Prevent Screenshots of Content Being Taken

DRM adds a screen mask over the content of the protected PDF file when a screen grab is taken. In this way, it prevents screenshots since the resulting screen capture is just a grey or black image.

PDF Watermarking

Although DRM stops users copying and pasting content or taking screenshots, users can still take photographs of their computer screens to copy your content. So, it is best to add a watermark to your PDF content as a copying deterrent.  Many PDF DRM systems provide dynamic watermarks – these enable you to add placeholders such as the users name and email address to the protected PDF – when the PDF is then viewed or printed the placeholder is replaced by the actual users details.  This means you don’t have to protect a PDF for each individual user – just the one will do.

Disable the Printing Option

Documents can be protected by disallowing the printing option. However, by altering the number of prints available, you can grant print rights to selected people, while disabling it for others.

Enable Location-Specific Controls

You may need to allow your employees to bring their own devices to work. In such cases, you can make your PDF files only accessible in your office. This would prevent users from accessing them from any other location or from any other device.

PDF Expiry

With the PDF expiry option, you can set the time beyond which your PDF files will not be available to users.  PDF files will then expire automatically and can no longer be accessed unless you change the expiry date.

You can also manually revoke access to both PDF files and users at any time.


To thrive in this digital world, it is imperative that you secure your PDF files with DRM controls. It is a dependable PDF security solution that enables you to send out your PDF files, without worrying about data loss or information fraud.

It is perfect for those who regularly work with important documents and those who do so rarely.