Adobe : How to send documents and information with enhanced security –

How to send documents and information with enhanced security Tips to help keep your documents more secure whether you send them by mail, email, or via the cloud

Many people tend to feel a bit uneasy when sharing documents with an external party. Whether it is a business file like an internal balance sheet, or a personal document like your passport, you want to take every precaution to help ensure your information is only seen by its intended recipients.

This concern leads some people to send sensitive documents only by direct mail, but even that can be risky - your package could get lost or accidentally sent to the wrong destination. In today's digital world, it is becoming increasingly common and much more convenient to send these types of documents digitally, through email and/or using a file-transfer platform or cloud-based document sharing service. These types of services host and manage documents in the cloud. Digital workflows are faster and more efficient than traditional methods, and are generally easier to keep up to date. Digital documents can also enable enhanced access for users with visual impairments who traditionally need to ask for assistance from an external vendor when reviewing physical documents.

In this article, we break down best practices on sharing documents and provide tips on how to help protect those documents.

We live in a physical world, but the way we exchange information is increasingly digital. Many businesses and consumers began embracing digital documents and signatures more frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic. The breadth and scope of files they shared online also expanded.

Documents can and should be protected throughout their journey. This could mean sending information by registered mail in the case of paper-based documents, or in the case of email and cloud hosted documents, encrypting files and restricting access to approved recipients.

Certain organizations may still require official documents to be a physical printout directly from their sender. Even some consumers prefer to send and receive official documents in a sealed envelope. Additionally, some government agencies may require a signature on paper, also known as a wet signature, for official documents.

Here are three tips to help ensure your physical docs arrive to its intended recipients securely and on time:

In the United States, it is illegal to open someone else's mail. This regulation is enough to discourage curious outsiders from reading your documents, but it is unlikely to deter a motivated criminal, especially one that has specifically targeted you or your business.

Make sure to package your documents sealed in opaque packaging so their contents are invisible and difficult to access without tearing the envelope entirely. Send these documents via a reputable carrier that allows you to track and monitor your package's progress from origin to destination.

International deliveries take a longer time to reach their destination as documents and packages change hands multiple times en route. Speed can be your friend under these circumstances so it may make sense to pay a little more and opt for expedited delivery. It is also prudent to send packages by registered mail and require a signature upon delivery, which will give you peace of mind that your documents have reached the right person.

Note that delivery companies in other countries may have different policies about what to do with a package if the recipient isn't available at the time of delivery. Be sure to specify that your documents cannot be left with anyone apart from the intended recipient. Tracking down a lost or stolen package after delivery is virtually impossible.

It is crucial to help secure electronic documents (e-docs), especially if they contain sensitive information or a legal signature. There are multiple ways to share e-docs, including email, file-transfers, and centralized document libraries hosted in the cloud. The most used forms of digital documents are email, cloud-based files, and PDFs, each of which comes with its own considerations.

The most common way to send digital files can be potentially one of the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Malicious email is typically the starting point to ransomware and phishing attacks.

There are three keys to helping protect email data: encrypting the message itself, encrypting attached documents, and password-protecting those documents. Recommended practices can vary between businesses, but at a minimum should respect AES standards, the specification set by the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology.

Hosting documents in the cloud is attractive when dealing with large files that cannot be sent as email attachments, or when multiple stakeholders need access at once. As opposed to emails, cloud-hosted documents are created, modified, and can be deleted at the source.

Once uploaded, make sure your files are automatically hosted privately until an administrator sends a secure access link to your chosen recipients. Access and editing rights can be managed on an individual basis, so that some users can modify the document while others can simply view it in "read only" mode. That's why cloud-based platforms are well suited to managing legally binding documents, as they reduce the likelihood of opening, tampering or printing by an external party.

Password protection should come via digital signature solutions such as Adobe Sign. Not only do these replace paper and make signing more efficient, they also allow you to control document access based on people's email address or another digital identifier. When signing a document with a certificate-based signature, the signer's identity is validated by a trusted service, and the signature is cryptographically bound to the document using public key infrastructure (PKI) technology. This makes digital signatures, such as cloud signatures, ideal for specific transactions or when you need to comply with regulations such as eIDAS in the European Union.

Of course, even cloud-based document libraries need to be managed regularly. Be sure to delete information and documents that you no longer need.

PDF is the most commonly used file format for creating and sharing documents - and with good reason. These files can easily be encrypted with password protection, and you can apply permissions to PDFs that limit who can copy modify or print the information these documents contain. Below are four effective strategies to help protect your PDFs from theft, loss, or unwanted access.

Cybersecurity is every business' especially in today's digital economy. With your employees sending and receiving hundreds of files every day, keeping their contents safe should be a top priority for your company and its customers.

Luckily, the technology required to protect electronic files has advanced considerably. Learn how businesses are using Adobe Document Cloud to adopt digital workflows with enhanced security and integrity.


Adobe Inc. published this content on 23 November 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 23 November 2021 13:59:03 UTC.

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