How Safe Are Your Online Documents? Here’s How To Guard Them Safely

July 28, 20130 Comments
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Just how safe are the documents that you create on your computer? Anything from passwords to those essential tax prep documents can be potentially unsafe. Whether it’s personal things you need to protect, or sensitive commercial information, you need to know that you are doing all that you possibly can in order to make sure that your documents are seen only by the eyes that they are intended for. Every single business keeps confidential information such as personnel records and wage slips on their computer system – and in the wrong hands this could be catastrophic. There is even a risk on a personal computer – if you create documents at home, for example a journal, do you really want other people to be able to see them if they gain access to your computer? We didn’t think so! Here is our guide to making sure that your document security is watertight.

Set a Password

Microsoft Word gives you the facility to set a password for your document, meaning that it is impossible to open it unless you know what it is. This is a really important thing to do. Unfortunately, if you forget the password yourself, it can be very tricky to regain access to the document yourself, so you need to make sure that this password is either very memorable, or that it is written down in a safe place somewhere (well away from the computer).

Protect Folders

Sometimes you might have entire folders of highly sensitive information (such as personnel records). You can set a password on the whole folder. If you work on a shared network, you can specify certain users that are authorized to access the folder, so that only people with a genuine reason for needing to get in there can do so.

Track Changes

If ‘tracked changes’ is switched on within a document, then you will be notified of any changes that have been made and by whom. This means that you will always be able to tell if somebody has been changing the document without your authorization. Head on over to the ‘Trust Center’ on your computer and it will show you all the many ways you can protect your privacy. There is even an option for the program to warn you before it prints something – which means that if somebody is merrily printing out documents that they shouldn’t have access to, you can be notified.

Play Around With the ‘Document Inspector’

Microsoft Word offers a ‘Document Inspector’ feature which will tell you about any compromising metadata and let you remove it before you send files out. Have a look online at how other people are cleaning metadata from their files.

Protecting your online files is absolutely vital if you want to make sure that your documents are seen only by the people they are meant for. You need to protect yourself from all risks – from people that are just being plain nosy, to highly dangerous online identity thieves. Don’t leave yourself wide open to difficulties – always make sure your online security is as tight as possible.

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Today’s guest author, John Cooper enjoys writing about his work and personal experiences and he also likes sharing useful information through his articles.


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About the Author ()

John Cooper, is an enthusiastic employee at USWired, a company providing IT support in San Francisco. He enjoys writing about his work and personal experiences and he also likes sharing useful information through his articles.

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