Protect PowerPoint Presentation: DRM for PPT protection
How can I protect PowerPoint presentations?
So, you have invested hundreds of hours creating your PowerPoint presentations and now you realize you need to protect them.
Below are the security options available to protect PowerPoint slides (.ppt files) from unauthorized use and misuse.
PowerPoint Password Security for PPT slides
Applying passwords to protect PPT slides is the cheapest solution for PowerPoint Security (it is free with PowerPoint) but also the least secure. Not only does PowerPoint password security NOT prevent unauthorized distribution of your PowerPoint presentations but there are hundreds of PowerPoint password crackers on the Internet (many free of charge) that will break the powerpoint password protection in seconds. A few of these applications are listed below:
It therefore does not matter what passwords methods you use to password protect PowerPoint slides, it provides worthless PowerPoint security (PPT security):
- If you password protect PowerPoint slides by applying a password to allow a user to open them, then users can give this password to others, and your slides can be distributed freely.
- If you password protect PPT slides by applying a password to prevent modification, then this can be easily removed using a PowerPoint password removal program and you are left without any form of protection.
Microsoft IRM for PowerPoint Security
Microsoft IRM (Information Rights Management) applies another level of PowerPoint security beyond useless password protection.
This system has several drawbacks:
- Recipients need to have purchased the full version of PowerPoint to view your protected presentations (the free PowerPoint Viewer does not support IRM)
- You have to specify when protecting PowerPoint presentations who the recipients are (completely useless therefore if you want other users to access this at a later date since you will have to protect it again). Clearly this is a system designed purely for internal use where you know from the start ALL the users that will ever want to access this presentation in the future
- Access controls are unhelpful. You either give users read access (no permission to modify, copy print), change access (modify, copy, but no print), or full access (same rights as the author – can modify, print, set expiry). So if you want users to be able to print your PowerPoint Presentations you have to let them copy, edit, modify, and change expiry too!
- The system does not prevent third party screen grabbers taking screenshots of your PowerPoint slides
- Links to external sources (MP3/MP4, SWF files) are not protected, so your video and audio is available for everyone to copy and share
So using Microsoft IRM for PowerPoint Security is only helpful in limited situations and it does not completely protect PowerPoint presentations.