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  1. PDFelement

    GDPR and the IT Professional

    As you’ve probably heard, the purpose of GDPR is to protect EU citizens from organizations that might use their data irresponsibly. In today’s blog post, we’ll cover what this recent regulation means to IT Professionals, what their biggest challenges are, and how PDFelement can help! EU citizens now have the authority to decide what information to share with organizations, how and where to share it, and whether they want to delete their personal information from any database if they so choose. GDPR and the IT Professional With GDPR replacing the Data Protection Act of 1998, it becomes more critical that businesses, especially IT services, should know everything they need to about the changes that have been brought forth inlegislation. Better understanding means better compliance with the regulations and fewer chances of penalties. Challenges of existing approaches to documents for IT Professionals Document storage: Every item of personal information that you store in printed or digital documents is subject to GDPR regulations. Typically, files are stored in a range of different formats, including: – • Editable documents (such as Microsoft Word files) that can be easily edited, and are therefore insecure • Unencrypted PDF files with no access control Document sharing: Internal collaboration sees documents shared across multiple locations – with little or no user accountability. In addition, many businesses share entire documents as a matter of process, even if only one piece of the document is truly relevant to processing. Meanwhile, the growth in sharing via email and cloud services has also dramatically increased the risk of data leakage. Human error accounts for a large proportion of data breaches and most documents can be opened by anyone that has access to the file. 5 Ways PDFelement can help: 1. Conversion of all Office document file types to PDFs – Getting documents out of paper and into digital office files is an essential first step toward GDPR compliance. PDFelement allows you to create industry standard PDF files that are fully compliant with all PDF viewers on virtually any device. • Batch PDF creation from over 300 file formats • Print to PDF from almost any application 2. Data Redaction Redacting data can allow companies to remove the sensitive or identifying data, without removing the entire record. This makes the process simpler and less invasive. 3. Encryption and Password Protection Encrypt documents with 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption levels, and permissions settings to control the viewing, printing, and modification of files. 4. Convert scanned documents into editable PDF files A paper-free office has long been a dream for many people. Quickly convert paper documents into searchable and editable PDF files you can organize, share and protect. 5. Archiving PDF/A is an ISO-standardized version of the Portable Document Format (PDF) specialized for use in the archiving and long-term preservation of electronic documents. Make sure you stay up-to-date with this important privacy protection legislation! If you have any other tips let us know in the comments below.
  2. PDFelement

    The Top 4 Ways to Protect Your PDFs

    In this day and age, security is at the top of everyone’s priority list, especially with the new GDPR regulations brought in this year. Luckily, many PDF tools, including PDFelement, offer security features that help you make sure information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Often, clients or customers are providing businesses with their personal information. From both perspectives, a case of mistaken data leak can be a bad situation. For customers, it exposes them to risks of identity theft, and for businesses this opens them up to a damaged reputation, not to mention potential lawsuits and hefty fines. Yikes! Here are the top 4 ways you can protect your PDFs with tools like PDFelement: 1. Password Protection With tools like PDFelement, you can easily set password restrictions on your document so that not just anyone can open, edit, save, or print it. There are two types of password protection offered by PDFelement – open passwords and permission passwords. Setting an open password means users must enter a password before opening the document. Permissions passwords require users to enter a password before they can access certain functions or settings to alter the document. To add an open or permission in PDFelement, go to the “Protect” tab and click on the “Password” or “Password Management” button. An open password is important if only a few authorized recipients are meant to open and view the file, for instance, sending a confidential form to someone over email. A permissions password is useful if a broad number of users are meant to view the file, but you don’t want just anyone making changes to it. 2. Redaction Need to send a document containing sensitive information to multiple individuals? Perhaps you are publishing a legal or government document that will be viewed by the public. You’ll want to make sure any sensitive personal data is removed or hidden, which can be done through redaction. Redaction permanently removes or hides certain information by placing a dark bar over the information, which can’t be removed. This signals to viewers that sensitive data has been removed. Many private companies or public authorities have to handle sensitive data that requires protection, especially to comply with the recent GDPR regulations that were brought in, which can bring severe financial penalties if they are not followed. To apply redaction in PDFelement, go to the “Protect” tab, and click on either the “Mark for Redaction” or “Search and Redact” button to get started. 3. Digital E-Signatures With everything in business being moved to online platforms these days, it only makes sense that digital signatures would become an increasingly common way to sign documents. Just like signing a paper document by hand, e-signatures digitally authorize a document quickly and conveniently so business can be done much faster. It’s beneficial to look for a PDF program that offers digital signature capabilities. This not only adds a layer of extra protection to your file, but also makes things a lot smoother and easier for all parties involved. Plus, after signing the document, you can lock it with an open or permissions password to protect it even further. To add a digital signature in PDFelement, go to the “Protect” tab, and click on the “Sign Document” or “Place Signature” button. 4. Watermarks & Stamps Lastly, another security measure you can add to your documents is a watermark or a stamp. A watermark is the addition of a certain design or pattern to your document that signifies the company or person that owns it. This is useful because it deters fake copying or altering of the document, as well as clearly shows the original source of the document. Watermarks help to prove the authenticity of a file, and with PDFelement, adding a watermark is simple. Just go to the “Edit” tab, click on the “Watermark” button, and choose whether you want to create a new watermark, update an existing watermark, or remove a watermark from your file. Similarly, stamps add to the authenticity of your document as well. When files include a digitally-authenticated timestamp, you’ll know the content within the file was last changed at that time. Or, the stamp can give you an idea of the last action that was completed on the document. For instance, a stamp can tell you whether it is a draft version, sent for comment or review, or if it has been approved or disapproved. Again, adding stamps is easy in PDFelement. Simply go to the “Comment” tab, click on the stamp button, and select the template you want to use to create your stamp. Have any more tips on how to protect your PDF documents? Let us know in the comments below!
  3. PDFelement

    What GDPR Means to HR Teams

    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!
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