Have you ever scoured the pile of papers on your desk to find an important document, but not sure which is the first draft and which is the final draft? Or distressed about having publicly shared a document that was supposed to be classified?
As lawyers, whether we work with paper documents, electronic documents, or a mixture of the two, it is critical to maintain our sensitive information. When confidential information is accidentally leaked, client relationships and even careers can be greatly challenged.
Fortunately, watermarking your PDF file will solve most of these annoyances. For example, would you mistake a PDF file with a "Draft" watermark for the final file?
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Why Does Watermark Make Sense?
Watermark is a kind of information superimposed on an image with great transparency. It is usually a sign, stamp or signature. Most of the time, watermarks are used to protect the ownership of content. Without watermarks, valuable documents could be subject to content theft or unauthorized use. Using watermarks in PDF documents that need to be shared is a very effective way to prevent leakage or confusion.
Commenting on preventing confidential information from leaking, Tony Mason, the Software Development Engineer of Windows, said,
"Lawyers and business people use date rooms for this. Documents can be watermarked, for example, so that a leaked copy can be traced back to the compromising individual. If the economic value of your data is high enough then the cost of this approach is justified."
Additionally, the Engineer added that this doesn't guarantee any compromise - it provides a method for tracing the source of the compromise, at which point you can use business means for enforcement. Copyright law provides stiff penalties generally (in the US it’s amplified damages and costs) for example and contract law can specify damages from unauthorized distribution as well.
The benefits are reflected in the following two points:
Security of the File
Although many other PDF security options are available to keep confidential information secure, the most common approach is to add a custom watermark to the PDF document. When you send your file to recipients, they only need to right-click to save your file. After that, how, where and when they use it is entirely up to them. Add a custom watermark with the company logo, recipient's name, and specific date to your documents to prevent recipients from leaking documents or to find the source of leaks in the event of a leak.
Files may also be at risk of being used arbitrarily when stored in private file repositories. Colleagues may use the document incorrectly when it is unclear whether the document is approved, still in draft, or for internal use only. While their actions are often unintentional, unauthorized document usage can damage your credibility, spread misinformation, and even have legal implications. Reasonable use of watermarks on PDF files can avoid this situation.
Watermark your PDF documents to keep them organized and confidential. In this way, you can reduce the risk of information leakage in your documents and always get the right information when needed.
How to Add Watermark on PDF？
Since watermarking is so important to lawyers, how is it applied to PDF files? Here, we take PDF Reader Pro, which is a fully-functional PDF editor installed on more than 90 million devices in more than 200 countries around the world, for example.
To enable watermark function, you can follow the steps below:
1. You can customize the watermark with texts and images, or change its opacity, color and position as you like.
2. Choose Editor on the toolbar -> Watermark -> Add Watermark to set Text or Image watermark.
3. Select Watermark -> Remove Watermark to choose the document you want to remove the watermark from, and click Remove;
4. Click Watermark -> Manage Watermark Templates, then you can review your watermark history and easily manage them;
5. Or tap Quick Tools on the home page -> Watermark -> Open a PDF file -> Set the parameters you need and click Apply.
Also, you can sign your PDF document or set a password after adding a watermark with PDF Reader Pro to enhance document security.
To sum up, keeping the documents organized and confidential is a necessity rather than a choice for lawyers. And watermarking documents is the most cost-effective way. Safeguarding the documents with the right tools such as PDF Reader Pro, makes your business run smoothly.