How to Password Protect a PDF

How To Password Protect A Pdf
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Can you really trust the security of your data? How do you know whether a PDF file you send is secure?

A PDF file can be easily protected with a password. When it comes to “document security,” password protection is often the first thing to come to mind.

Using a password to protect PDF files makes sense, but why? In this article, we will explain how to password-protect a pdf document.

There is no perfect password protection. There are several different levels of PDF protection, but this is the most basic. In an online forum, people can share their passwords and documents with their passwords without being hindered by this level of protection. Some companies can even email the document and password together, nullifying the password protection altogether!

Using password protection alone does not allow you to track the document or see who has accessed it. The recipient is free to copy and spread the information elsewhere if the content is open to copying. To prevent copying and printing, as well as tracking your document, we strongly recommend using password protection and other security measures.

Using a password to encrypt a PDF

If you know the limitations we just mentioned, you can add a password to PDF documents yourself. We’ll examine the various methods for protecting PDFs with passwords.

Protect PDF files with a password using Word

As PDF files often originate as Word documents, encrypting them with the program makes sense. If you are using a PC, you will need to follow these steps:

You will need to open the Word doc you wish to save as a PDF. Choose File > Save as > PDF as the save option.

Then, select the “Options” button from the box that appears after selecting the “More options” link underneath the file format box.

Enter a password (twice) as prompted when you choose “Encrypt document with a password.” Click “Save.” This file will prompt for the password whenever it is opened in Office or elsewhere.

How to encrypt a PDF on your Mac

Passwords can be set on Macs through the “Preview” program, which is part of the native operating system. The process is as follows:

Open your PDF document in Preview by double-clicking it.

Save the file by clicking File > Save.

Ensure the encrypt box is checked, enter your password, and click save.

Please note that you can use this same method to work from a PDF file in Google Docs after saving a copy to your desktop.

How effective is password protection?

A password-protected system is not ideal, but it is a simple one. Although you may have put in place a small barrier to keep people from accessing your document, you don’t know how many times they’ve accessed it.

Passwords do not identify the person viewing the file, which poses a major problem. Even though the file has only one password, it can be passed along to others along with the file without causing any problems. Free encryption methods like Word do not allow you to revoke or take back the file.

The contents of a password-protected file can still be copied and pasted into another file after it has been opened, even though it is password protected.

What Types Of PDF Password Protection Are There, And When Should They Be Used?

Managing digital documents in PDF format is the best option, and many businesses rely on it.

Some people are still unaware of the encryption capabilities of this file format, which is one of the most common file formats used in businesses.

To fully understand how to password protect or encrypt your PDFs, it’s important to go over the two main methods for protecting PDFs. The following are some of them.

PDF with user-locked content

The user lock protection prevents readers from copying, editing, printing, or sharing the document.

As these functionalities are disabled without permission passwords, users cannot access them. As a result, the document can be easily protected by the original file owner or sender using these advanced functions.

PDF with owner-locked content

Pdf With Owner Locked Content

Document restrictions in PDF files are set using owner-lock protection. The owner of a document could place restrictions on it, such as:


Document modification.

Constructing documents.

Copying of content.

Copying content to make it accessible.

Extraction of graphics and pages.

Making a comment.

Form field filling.

The signature.

A template page is created.

What is the point of removing a password?

There may be suspicions surrounding password removal. In most cases, though, passwords require removal for convenience.

Most people remove passwords from secured PDF files when they no longer need or want the information.

Once the PDF content is no longer confidential or sensitive, the lock should be removed.

Password protection for PDF documents: the good, the bad, and the ugly.


It’s cheap – you can do it yourself, or there are lots of password generator programs available online.

Users understand the process and ease of use – ID/passwords are probably the most common access mechanisms on the planet, so user acceptance is high.

Adobe Acrobat can encrypt and password-protect PDFs, and restrictions can be applied to their use (permissions).

PDFs can be encrypted with AES encryption at 128-bits and higher with most PDF encryption software.

PDFs can be handled on almost any platform with viewers or plug-ins.


In addition to being difficult to set up, strong passwords are also difficult to remember – there are many passwords to remember, and products that are meant to keep you safe are prone to failure if something goes wrong.

They can be copied and forwarded anywhere and anytime since they are sent to the user in a readable form.

A document that can be used without a password doesn’t know how many people have it if it’s available offline.

The fact that humans must use them makes them easy to steal. Humans are more prone to storing plain text data on their computers and copying and pasting it in as they become stronger. In some cases, this approach does not provide satisfactory security.

The end-user can change document permissions, so nothing is really protected.

Using Adobe Acrobat, the types of controls available are rather limited, and destination environments are not considered.


It is very common to find free password generators and password attack programs on the web, both of which are very effective.

A password selection approach based on manual selection is seriously flawed, as shown in lists of popular passwords.

Depending on the application, some products, such as those from Elcomsoft, target particular environments, such as breaking Adobe Acrobat passwords, Microsoft Office XP, RAR, files, and PGP keys.

It is common for these applications to give users access in minutes or seconds.

Thank you for reading!