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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

    The Top 5 Benefits of OCR

    Ditch that paper! With the digitization of paper-based records, not only have we been able to save a ton of trees, but we’ve also been able to increase efficiency in a big way. Digital records are now transferable, sortable, searchable, and more easily archived. However, with a lot of benefits to digitization also come some challenges. Luckily, these challenges can be overcome with a handy tool called OCR. As you might be aware, OCR refers to Optical Character Recognition. This is a technology used to recognize text within digital or scanned documents and photos. You can use this tool to convert virtually any type of image that includes text into an editable text document, even if the text is in handwriting. PDFelement, among many other programs, supports this tool. It’s probably obvious that this technology brings many benefits. Read on to discover the top 5 below: 1. Easy Editing Ever wanted to make changes to an old document you worked on but only have the hard copy available? Maybe you want to copy the formatting of an old form you filled out or created, but again don’t have a digital copy to work off of. The OCR tool is a lifesaver because you can use it to scan and digitize old documents so that you can easily edit them in a word processor or other type of suitable program, rather than having to type the all of the content outagain by hand. This saves a ton of time and manuallabor, and is obviously a major benefit. 2.Stress-free searching After you use OCR to detect the text in your scanned document, you can save your file in a format such as .doc,.txt, .pdf and more. You can view and edit these file types in programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, PDFelement, and more. All of these programs contain an internal searching function that lets you easily search for a certain word or phrase by simply pressing Ctrl+F in Windows or Command+F in Mac. Again, this saves so much time, since you don’t have to manually scroll through the entire document and scan every line to find the section you’re looking for, which can betime consuming if it’s a lengthy document. 3.Convenient Storage Options Get rid of those filings cabinets! When you digitize documents, you save physical storage space which frees up space in the office for more productive uses, like fitting in more desks and employees, or creating leisure spaces for open seating areas, foosball tables, TVs, you name it! You also reduce the need forpaper, and paper storage. 4.Accessibility for Everyone Once you scan and convert your document using OCR, you can make it available to many other users. Essentially, it will be available to anyone who has access to the database you’ve uploaded it to. This can be beneficial since it allows you to give customers access to these digitalfiles, so that they can easily view and review past records such as past payment receipts, purchase history, credit history, etc. and more. Plus, by uploading them to databases like Archive.org you can make these files publicly accessible by anyone around the globe. 5.Top-notch translation tools These days, OCR supports a huge number of languages. English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Indian, you name it. You scan a document in one language, digitized it, and translate it into almost any other language. This also saves time and resources, since you no longer need human translators to manually go through printed documents. This also helps your office productivity, since the turnaround time for projects is muchquicker when you don’t have to wait on translators to get your translated content back to you. Do you have any other benefits to OCR that you think should be mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!
  4. At times it can be useful to add hyperlinks to your PDF document. You might want to direct readers to a specific page in your document, or a separate document altogether. We had a recent request in the forum asking how to use hyperlinks. So we thought we would create a quick tutorial to demonstrate this in today’s blog post. Let’s get started! First, to access the hyperlink tool, go to the “Edit” tab > “Link.” Then, to start the process, use your cursor to draw a box over the area you want to add a link to. If people hover their mouse in that area, they will now be able to click it and go to the link location. There are three different link actions to choose from: go to page view, open file, or open web page. Go to page view This option has previously been covered in a past blog post. People tend to use this feature to build a table of contents. But you can also use it for other scenarios, such as building a form or survey. You have the option to skip certain parts as well. Open File Once you’ve finished creating your link box using your mouse, make sure you select the correct “Open File” option in the drop-down menu to proceed. Click “Add” when you are done, and a pop-up window will appear where you can browse for the file. Aside from editing the file that you want to link to, you can also edit the appearance of the link box by opting to have the bounding box visible (link type). If you want the box to be visible, you can also adjust the line style, highlight style, line thickness, and color if you’d like. If you decide you’d rather have your users open the link as a web page, you can also edit that as well. Note: if you choose to link to a file, you can only open a file on your own computer. If you send someone a hyperlink to open a file, but the file is not present on their computer, they will not be able to access it. Open Web Page Similar to the “Open File” option, you’ll need to draw a box with your mouse, and then select the “Open Web page” option from theright hand side, and then press “Add”. To save, make sure that you’re done tweaking all the appearance options and de-select the “Link” button on the top ribbon. There you have it! This is how you set up hyperlinks in PDFelement. This tutorial was demonstrated on Mac, but the functions are similar – if not identical – on Windows. For example, on Windows, the actions appear on a pop-up window as opposed to a drop-down menu. Any questions or tutorial requests? Let us know in the comments below! We also have an online forum where you can get your PDFelement questions answered. See you there!
  5. PDFelement

    A Look Back at SpiceWorld 2018

    Last week, the PDFelement team exhibited at SpiceWorld 2018 in Austin, Texas. The event may be over, but we’ve still got some great highlights for you in case you couldn’t make it! If you consider yourself a techie, it’s likely you’ll know about SpiceWorld. The annual conference, put on by Spiceworks, is aimed towards IT pros and tech vendors. Attendees can access everything from hands-on sessions and tutorials to networking opportunities, contests, games, and more. Most IT Pros consider it a “must” to attend. All of us at PDFelement certainly had a blast! But if you weren’t able to attend this year, it doesn’t mean you missed out on all the fun! We’ve compiled some of the best highlights from our time at SpiceWorld 2018 so readers can get the full experience of our 3 jam-packed days in Austin. Without further ado, here are some of our top highlights: Unveiling IT Robin Hood We went all out this year with our booth theme! PDFelement’s mission is to come to the rescue by cutting costs and empowering our users with the most affordable PDF editing tool on both Windows and Mac, so it only makes sense that we would get decked out in our finest Robin Hood costumes to get our message across and save the day as IT Robin Hood! We had a great time exhibiting at the event and showing off all the ways PDFelement can help you become the IT hero of your organization. Catching Up with Clients One of the most exciting aspects of the event for us was meeting so many of our clients face to face! It couldn't be more rewarding to discover that our product is making people happy. We loved the chance to meet so many of you and find out how PDFelement has helped make your life a little easier. Our LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron Giveaway Our giveaway this year was a LEGO® Technic Bugatti Chiron. This exclusive model was developed in partnership with Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. It’s aerodynamic body, spoked rims, moveable gearshift and logoed steering wheel make it the epitome of the ideal sports car model. Plus, the classic Bugatti blue color scheme matches PDFelement perfectly! Congratulations to Sarah, who was the lucky winner! Hearing Frank Abagnale Speak Of course there were many fantastic exhibits, sessions, and speakers at SpiceWorld this year, but our top pick had to be seeing Frank Abagnale speak. For those who don’t know, Frank Abagnale was the inspiration for the popular film Catch Me if You Can. There were many things to learn from Abagnale as he regaled us with tales of his brief criminal career as a former con artist, and his thoughts on the future of cybersecurity. It was truly fascinating to listen to. Scoring big at the Galaga Arcade Machine PDFelement was proud to achieve the high score on the vintage Galaga Arcade Machine! Seeing our name at the top of that list really put the cherry on top of a great few days at SpiceWorld! Austin’s Notorious Food Scene Of course, we couldn’t go to Austin without sampling the food. It’s impossible to be situated in Texas and not eat barbecue, so that's exactly what we did. We braved the line at Franklin Barbecue, which was a true meat lover’s delight, as you can probably tell from the pictures. We also wanted to add some Mexican cuisine into the mix! We tried out Polvo’s Mexican Restaurant, famous for their salsa bar, drinks, and authentic Mexican cuisine, and Torchy’s Tacos, where we spiced things up with delicious and unique tacos that truly had our mouths watering. These dining experiences certainly made our trip all the more memorable! As you can see, we had a truly fantastic and memorable experience at SpiceWorld 2018! Did you attend? Let us know your favourite moments in the comments below!
  6. 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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