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There have been many exciting changes to our PDFelement Community, and I’d like to take this moment to point you in the direction of our monthly Tutorial Request Thread! There’s been a lot of feedback regarding the need for additional tutorials and explanations for PDFelement features, so I thought I’d give you a chance to tell me what tutorials you want to see in the future! This week’s tutorial will be on the topic of redaction. I’ve received a few different questions about the redaction tool in the forum over the past few weeks. For those of you who’ve never used this feature before, the redaction tool removes or hides information in a document, usually in the form of blacking sections out; the black bars notify the reader that the text or image contains sensitive information. This way, information can be selectively disclosed, and sensitive parts of the file remain secret. For example, in the United States, court records are made public, so lawyers often go over the transcripts after the trial to redact personal information. Of course, this feature isn’t limited to corporate use, and personal users can utilize redaction to protect their own sensitive information as well! Mac: Step 1: Locate the redaction tool under “Protect” -> “Redact”. You can change the color of redaction on the righthand side. While selecting colors, you’ll be able to see a sample of what the results will look like. Step 2: Highlight the sections that you would like to redact. If you are performing redaction on a document with words, the program will likely detect it and highlight the words (refer to the image below). Otherwise, you can use the pointer to select the area that you would like to black out. Step 3: You can mark all the sections you would like to redact in the document before pressing “Apply Redactions”. It’s important to note that this is a non-reversible procedure. Step 4: Ta-da! You will end up with a blacked out (or other colored out) redaction on all the information that you would like hidden. Switching colors Many people have been asking for a specific whiteout tool, but little do they know, this is it! You can switch the color of your redaction to suit your needs, including making it white. Step 1: Click on the eye dropper Step 2: A “+” sign will appear on the colored circle closest to the right. Click on this for the palette to appear. Step 3: Once you select the color you would like to switch to, the last circle will become that color, appear under “fill color”, and it will show up on the sample section. Windows: On Windows, the procedure is roughly the same: you mark the areas that you would like to redact, then you apply your redaction permanently by selecting “Apply”, which is a separate button. On both versions, you can utilize the sticky note feature to make a note regarding the reason for redaction. You can access this through the menu that pops up when you right-click. To change the color of the redaction on Windows, bring up the “Properties” menu via right-click. A bonus feature for redaction on the Windows software is the ability to search for certain words and redact them all at once. This can be handy when you have a large document and you’re trying to cover all instances of a specific name or phone number. To access this, select the “Search & Redact” function on the ribbon under “Protect”. Type in the word that you would like to redact throughout the document, and all instances of it will be highlighted. And there you have it. That’s my quick and easy guide on how to use the PDFelement redaction tool to secure your information and files. Is there another feature that you would like to see a tutorial on? Feel free to request it in our forum, or in the comments below! Plus, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below as well. By Rebecca Chen, Community Manager at PDFelement
At PDFelement, we believe data security is of the utmost importance. With the recent introduction of GDPR regulations, certain departments are finding the right tools and methods for familiarizing themselves with data security. In today’s post, we’ll discuss what GDPR means to HR professionals, and how PDFelement can help. One primary challenge that HR departments face is the issue of keeping sensitive personal information completely secure and confidential. This need for data security is what has lead to the introduction of a law like GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation. The Idea behind GDPR Legislation has failed to keep up with the tremendous speed at which big data and technology has advanced, specifically when it comes to gathering, storing, and protecting data. Therefore, GDPR has been designed for enhancing data protection as well as the right to privacy for EU citizens, thus giving them more control over personal data and the way it is used. Meaning of GDPR for HR GDPR is a summarization of those legal requirements that need to be met by a company handling the personal data of EU citizens, including the personal data of employees. Companies that fail to fulfill these regulations and are found misusing the personal information will have to pay some very hefty fines. HR teams require consent Consent is an important part of the foundation of the new legislation, and GDPR explicitly states that companies can make use of the personal data only for the purpose it was given for. So, for HR teams, employees must opt-in to allow the employer to use personal data and they should be informed, in detail, how their data will be used. This can be done as an option the candidate checks off on a PDF form and digitally signs using a program like PDFelement, to make their consent explicit and legally binding. This means HR teams must be transparent regarding the data being collected, the purpose for which it is being collected, and the way it will be used. One simple way to clarify this is by handing out a privacy statement that all employees sign. Again, using programs like PDFelement, you can easily create and share privacy statements in PDF format. After that, as part of the HR team, you can only use the data for the given purpose outlined in the statement. If you want to make use of the data for a different purpose, then you need to get written permission separately. Data rights for employees GDPR also extends the rights of those individuals whose data is being used or processed. Such individuals are referred to as data subjects, and the extension of rights has enhanced their entitlement to have their data corrected. In fact, they also have the right to restrict or object to data processing although such rights are commonly not raised in an employment context. Right to be forgotten GDPR also states that employees have the right to be forgotten and they can withdraw their content which means that HR teams must think about what withdrawal of consent means for the system. For instance, are their procedures put in place for deleting employee data? Or, how can you ensure that you are getting rid of every last trace of information stored in your system? Is your entire team completely aware of the importance of complying with GDPR? All these things must be taken into consideration when devising your data-driven HR strategy. Conclusion Data privacy is becoming an increasingly important issue, and failure to comply with the GDPR requirements will only lead to trouble which is why it is important to ensure that HR teams fully understand GDPR. What PDFelement Can Do PDFelement has many features available that help in the process of protecting sensitive and confidential information of employees and candidates. Permission restrictions, redaction tools, watermarks, and digital signatures ensure that the data you are collecting or sharing is fully protected against any sort of unauthorized breach. What are your thoughts on GDPR for HR teams? Let us know in the comments!
PDFelement posted a blog entry in PDFelement BlogDue to the increasing advancements made in technology and software, devices have become more and more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Sectors including finance, private businesses, and even education are no longer safe from cybercriminals. Bank records are of particular interest and importance to cybercriminals. These bank records provide you with the entire financial history of an individual, and both the amounts and descriptions can be changed for electronic payments by these hackers. Deposits and balances can be altered and manipulated. This is one of the reasons that credit card and bank statements are often downloaded through the bank's website in PDF format instead of getting hard copies through the mail. This practice has now become increasingly common as banks across the globe are encouraged to go paperless. The reason why the finance sector and banks are adamant on adopting PDF as their main format is because of the benefits it brings. Some advantages of PDF include: • Document formatting is maintained Many bankers face a common problem when sharing documents. When they send a document made in Microsoft Word or any other word processor, the formatting can change once it reaches the other person who is viewing it on a different device. This can cause confusion, and also can make you look unprofessional to a client. However, with PDF format you can relax because this format presents your document exactly as you’ve originally formatted them. So, even if the receiver makes changes or additions to the document, the format will stay the same. PDF format is also great for sending documents that need to be printed out. • PDF is universal across all operating systems The PDF format is commonly used around the world, and due to this, it can be viewed and shared very easily, regardless of the device or operating system used. Whether you are sharing this format with someone in the same city as you or on the other side of the globe, PDF is the safest choice to use. Banks have many international clients, which is why the PDF format can prove to be very useful for them when sharing bank statements with their clients on the other side of the world. Some formats require a specific program or have particular requirements in order for it to work properly. However, this is not the case with PDFs. These PDF files can work with any operating system whether it’s a PC or a Mac and it works even on newer mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android. • Password protection When you are working in the finance sector, you are bound to handle sensitive information belonging to customers and clients, such as their credit card number, social security number, address, name, etc. When sharing such sensitive information, the risk of being hacked by cybercriminals can be very strong, however, there is no need to worry when working with PDF files as they can be protected with a password. You can also redact sensitive information, blacking it out so that the data is kept safe. As a result, these files can be kept away from prying eyes and help keep your clients' bank information and credit card statement well protected, which also improves your company reputation. • Form Processing and Data Extraction With programs like PDFelement, you can pull important data from PDF forms for easy analysis, risk assessment, and more. Use rules-based data extraction to analyze key points within each PDF document, or create a master template with classified form fields. This is great for creating client-facing application forms. Plus, you can easily manage credit risk with the data gathered from the PDF forms you have on file. With one-click form creation, you can build forms easily from Microsoft office file types like Word. By using PDFs, you no longer have to worry about your client not being able to view bank statements, or that the formatting of your PDF will not show up correctly. You also have less to worry about in terms of sensitive data being leaked or being unable to extract and analyze data. To find out more about how PDFelement can help when it comes to working in Finance and Banking, visit our Finance and Banking page. Have any other tips for how the PDF format is useful within the finance field? Let us know in the comments below!