When you must share PDFs containing sensitive data, you can remove confidential aspects by redacting the document. To prevent premature revealing of sensitive data while sharing company documents, you must learn how to redact PDFs correctly.

Legal practitioners face the constant battle of properly dealing with protected information while dealing with a client’s cases. Intellectual property, trade secrets, and financial information are typical examples of sensitive information that must be protected as files move from one desk to another.

In this blog post, we’ll explain how to apply redactions in PDF documents correctly and how a PDF editor can be used to redact a PDF file. Stick around for more information.

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Why it is important to redact sensitive data correctly

Here’s why you must take great care to redact sensitive data within your files.

Maintain data privacy

Privacy concerns are a big challenge on the internet. While the World Wide Web makes it convenient for anyone to upload, share, and receive information, preserving sensitive data from the public eye is crucial.

More than half of companies worldwide store data on a cloud-based service, making it easy for employees to interact and access files. However, the admin staff needs to redact some private data before the company saves that information on the cloud.

Since most projects are time-based, most people resort to quick fixes for redacting a PDF file. Instead of obscuring data using a color highlighter, use a PDF redaction tool. This will protect your data from falling into the wrong hands.

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Avoid compliance risks

When you fail to redact documents properly, your business could default on data protection legislation. It’s that serious. Proper redaction ensures that you protect company secrets by complying with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data regulations.

Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) may not be enough to ensure that confidential data shared with employees, clients, or partners won’t be leaked. If your PDF contains private info, you should use a PDF tool to redact its sensitive contents.

Build credibility and trust

Confidentiality is one of the core values that clients consider when choosing institutions to provide services for them. Securing sensitive information by redacting documents properly will foster trust in your relationship with customers and partners.

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To avoid minor slips, you must carefully redact information in PDF files before you send them out for processing or storage. With redaction, your business makes a conscious effort to prevent security breaches, data leaks, and the like.

3 rules for redacting documents

Let’s consider the dos and don’ts for redacting documents.

Do not redact originals

Redaction is an irreversible process, so make sure you don’t redact the original document in case of errors. When you accidentally redact the original, you won’t be able to get the data back.

More so, redaction is essential when you want to hide private information from anyone who doesn’t have a viewing or editing access. This also implies that you need the original PDF file to share with those who have clearance.

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So, keep a backup copy of the unredacted PDF document before you start redaction. This way, you will be unperturbed when the redacted file becomes corrupted, lost, or inaccessible.

Do not use markup tools

Another significant mistake is using a PDF markup tool to hide sensitive information; markup tools cannot successfully redact PDFs.

If you use a markup tool to conceal private info, the document is still open to any hacker with a decryption tool. Besides, any person with technical know-how can extract the information because markups are easy to remove.

Rather than risking the safety of your sensitive data, get PDF software with standard redaction tools to handle the job. You’ll be glad you did.

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Beware of metadata

Sensitive data still stand the risk of exposure after redaction when you don’t get rid of metadata. After you redact a PDF document, make sure you eliminate this section from the file.

Metadata typically contains facts related to the document, including confidential information. The good news is redaction data can run through the redacted PDF to ensure metadata doesn’t contain any sensitive parts.

You can also scan any comments attached to the file and confirm that they don’t contain sensitive data you’ve tried to remove. That’s how you ensure a flawless redaction when working with protected information.

5 steps to redact a PDF document

With a PDF editor like Lumin PDF, you can follow these easy steps to prevent sensitive data from entering the wrong hands.

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1.     Convert the document

First, convert the document into a PDF. Redaction tools work excellently on PDF file formats; if the recipient converts the redacted file to its original file format, he won’t see the redacted data.

Lumin PDF is an excellent tool for handling several PDF editing needs, including annotation, file conversion, and redaction. There are online PDF conversion applications you can use if it’s one-time use.

2.     Upload the converted document

Once the file is converted to PDF, upload it to your PDF editor. You can also redact PDF online in your preferred PDF editor.

3.     Select the “Blackout” option

On the Redact toolbar, choose the “Blackout” option. Some PDF editors might label it “Redact” or “Redaction”. Either way, it does the same thing.

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4.     Highlight the section you want to redact

Drag the cursor to highlight the portion you want to redact. You can highlight a word, phrase, paragraph, or group of sentences across the PDF. It depends on how much sensitive data is inside the document. As you highlight, a black line appears over the section selected for redaction.

5.     Save the redacted document

Once you have redacted all the sensitive data, confirm this and then save a copy. Make sure you rename the file, so you don’t accidentally replace the original document. For best results, let a second eye examine the document to ensure you’ve cropped out all the private data. You can also share the redacted file online or save it to your cloud storage.

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Conclusion

Redacting a document is a process that requires meticulous attention to detail. Your business needs a redaction tool to mask sensitive data when sharing a PDF online. With the help of tools like Lumin PDF, you can redact your document correctly to ensure safety.

 

 

 

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