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Sending Secure Documents using Adobe Acrobat

Katherine Derby

February, 2009


acrobatIt is critical to take precautions when sending documents containing sensitive or confidential information. This is especially important if you choose to send the information by E-mail. Luckily, it is now easy to send information to others on/off-campus using Adobe Acrobat. While this option is not bulletproof, it is a major improvement over the practice of sending non-encrypted or non password-protected documents via E-mail.

It’s important to distinguish the difference between Acrobat and Acrobat Reader. Acrobat is an application available for purchase that creates, modifies, and secures PDF documents. Visit computerstore.unh.edu for more information. Acrobat Reader is a free application available through download to read those documents. Visit the Web at adobe.com/acrobat for downloading instructions.

Essentially, Acrobat locks your PDF documents with a password and 256-bit encryption. This ensures the information remains unseen by anyone intercepting E-mail and allows for quick transmission of sensitive information while retaining confidentiality. Acrobat goes a step further, allowing authors to set permissions on documents so the transmitted document is not copied, printed, or altered thereby retaining authenticity.

To apply passwords or security policies to Acrobat documents, choose the Secure icon in the Toolbar. You will see several options available for use. If this is the first time you have used this feature, make sure to choose Getting Started with PDF Security for an overview of features and instructions.