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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!