Why would I want to secure my PDF documents?
There are many reasons why you would want to secure your PDF documents using PDF file security. The main reason however is that you need protection for your PDF documents beyond what encryption provides. The most likely reason being is that you want to have some control of your PDF documents once they have been decrypted (for example whether a recipient can copy text from your document). This may be because the information is privileged for a certain group of people or you are selling information that you do not want to be distributed at your cost.
So how can I secure my PDF documents?
Well, at the basic level you could use a product like Adobe Acrobat. However, it is wise to bear in mind that there are tools freely available on the Internet that remove the copy controls you have applied literally within seconds. This is also true of other secure PDF products that use passwords or plugins to Adobe Acrobat.
If you are serious about protecting your documents then you will probably want to purchase a PDF file security product that is not password based – read PDF password protection to see why – and uses US Government strength encryption.
Download PDF file security software that uses US Government strength encryption, digital rights management controls, and does not use either passwords or plug-ins to secure your PDF documents.
Secure PDF online: securing PDF files in the cloud
Some PDF security applications enable you to secure PDF files online on a cloud server. Most of these programs however only provide standard PDF password protection. The other main disadvantage of this approach is that you have to upload unprotected PDF files to a cloud server where they could be easily compromized.
A much more secure approach to securing PDF files is to secure PDF files on your local computer (offline), and then to distribute the secure PDFs online. This ensures your secure PDFs are always under your control.
Further reading on PDF Security
To learn more about PDF security, read the following white papers.
PDF Security and Encryption
How Secure is Adobe PDF Security?
Also see PDF Security Issues which covers flaws and cracks in various PDF Security implementations.