Digital technology has made our lives easier in countless ways. One of the most notable benefits of technology is that it has made document management easy by eliminating the need for managing tons of hard copies.
From certificates and personal records to business invoices and legal documents, everything can be stored digitally. However, because of the increasing number of cyberattacks, it’s critically important for both businesses and individuals to manage their valuable digital documents securely.
This article will cover several effective methods to securely manage your digital documents. You can use one or more of these methods to ensure that your valuable digital documents are protected from the prying eyes of cybercriminals and hackers.
What is Digital Document Security?
Definition for Google Snippet: Digital document security is the process of managing documents using secure storage protocols. It protects valuable data whether the documents are stored (online or on a device connected to the internet) or shared between multiple parties. It can also keep hackers from interpreting data even if they steal it.
Keep in mind that digital documents face a myriad of threats from cybercriminals, hackers, and organized crime syndicates. These malicious actors are always trying to steal valuable data from individuals and organizations to find information about financial gateways, such as credit card information and bank account details.
They also try to steal information in order to blackmail people and demand money from them. Digital document security prevents these incidents from happening by protecting files and mitigating the risk of data loss.
Manage Digital Documents Securely: Effective Methods
Here’s a list of the most effective methods that you can use to manage your personal/professional documents in a digital form securely.
Keep Documents Tidy
Your digital documents must be organized properly. It’s especially true if you own a company and your employees need to use those documents to perform their daily jobs. According to recent statistics, 60% of employees spend more time searching for documents than doing their jobs.
Consider using the tips listed below to keep your documents tidy.
Analyze all the documents you have to create a filing structure for your digital documents to keep everything organized. It’ll help you avoid duplicating files and losing data.
Create multiple categories, along with a tree structure, to store documents in different folders based on their category. It’ll help you (and your employees) quickly find the document(s) needed at a certain time.
Remove outdated files regularly with the updated ones.
Always add new file(s) to the correct folder based on their category.
Digital documents are vulnerable to data loss due to hardware failure, software corruption, or other unforeseen events. That’s why regular backups are important as they can protect your documents from accidental deletion or modification.
These tips will allow you to keep track of each file and help you apply the security protocols (discussed below) to all your documents efficiently.
Watermarking is one of the most commonly used and oldest ways to secure documents. Interestingly, this method was invented in the 13th century, and it’s still used as an effective document security measure.
The purpose of this technique is to show the ownership of your documents and it also discourages the leakage of confidential data.
Communicating the document classification to let the reader/recipient know how they should treat the document is a common way of watermarking.
Encrypt Your Documents
Encryption is a method of encoding (encrypting) your documents so that they can only be accessed by individuals with the decryption key or code. It’s one of the best ways to ensure the protection of your digital documents.
Even if the hacker steals your documents, they won’t be able to access the valuable data without the decryption key. There are many document reader tools available in the market that allow you to encrypt your documents before storing them.
It’s also advisable to use a VPN service, such as Surfshark, to encrypt your online communication when you need to share your documents with another party.
Use Password Protection
One of the easiest ways to protect your digital documents is to enable password protection to prevent unauthorized access. It’ll lock the document(s) and the user will need to enter a password to open it.
This method will allow you to make sure that only those individuals, who have the password you set, can access the valuable data inside documents.
You’ll need to create a strong password (long and complicated) that can’t be broken easily. Here are some tips that you can follow to create a strong password that will ensure digital security.
Never use obvious personal information in your passwords, such as your email address, user name, birthday, or name.
Create at least an eight characters long password. It should include lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers.
Avoid using words that can be found in a dictionary. Ideally, you should create a random string of characters.
Don’t use the same password for all documents.
Use a password manager to store all your passwords.
Example of a strong password: 94Y4XBRhELw$
Redact Text of PDF
Redaction is a process of permanently blocking/removing certain parts of visible graphics and text from a document, as shown in the image below:
Redacting your files comes in handy when you really need to share a document with an individual but there is some information in the file that you don’t want to share. So, instead of removing that information manually or creating another document, you can simply redact the existing file.
Utilize the Power of DRM (Digital Rights Management)
Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a technology used to protect digital content from unauthorized access and copying. It uses various methods, such as encryption and digital licenses, to control access to the content and prevent unauthorized use.
DRM is often used by content creators and distributors, such as publishers and streaming services, to protect their intellectual property and prevent piracy.
For example, if you’ve written an e-book for students, you would want to ensure the protection of your intellectual property so that someone else doesn’t copy that material and start profiting from it.
Use Document Tracking
Document tracking is a security feature that allows you to track the movement of your documents and understand how they are being accessed and used.
With document tracking, you can see who has opened your document, how often it has been opened, and from where it has been accessed.
This information can be valuable for identifying potential security threats, such as unauthorized access or sharing of your document. By using document tracking, you can gain greater control over your documents and make sure that they are only accessed by the intended audience.
Use Document Expiry and Self-Destruction Feature
There are several reasons why you would want to limit or revoke access to your digital documents so that they’re not permanently available to the recipients.
For example, if you’re a business owner and have shared a document with one of your employees, you’ll need to revoke their access to the document if they leave your company.
You can manage such situations by using the document expiry functionality. Many document readers allow you to use this feature to set the expiry date of a document. Once the expiry date is met, the document gets deleted (self-destruction) automatically.
You can apply this function to a set of documents that are needed for a certain task or project. It’ll help you make sure that no one can access the data once the task or project is completed and those documents are no longer needed.
Protecting your digital documents is important for ensuring the security and integrity of your personal and professional information. It keeps malicious actors from stealing your valuable data and prevents unauthorized access and information loss.
We hope this guide has helped you understand the effective methods to manage digital documents securely. You can use a well-reputed and trusted document reader, such as PDF Reader Pro, to use the methods discussed in this guide to secure your digital documents.