Encrypted PDFs are excellent for transferring confidential contracts over the internet, but do you know how to sign a PDF that has been password protected? It isn’t as simple as you might imagine it will be.
Mobile eSignature solutions that allow users to sign password-protected PDF documents were first introduced by SignEasy, and it remains the only such solution available today. You may now sign and send crucial documents such as W-9 forms, real estate contracts, and secret loan documents from the convenience of your cell phone in a matter of minutes.
Here, we’ll go over the significance of encrypted PDFs, how they vary from password-protected documents, and how to work with and sign an encrypted PDF document that has been properly shut down. Also included will be a link to a piece of software that will allow you to electronically sign encrypted PDFs on any platform you happen to be using, including mobile devices.
The difficulty of using encrypted signatures
During tax season, SignEasy was inundated with new users, which resulted in a new set of problems: people were unable to complete their tax paperwork.
The emails that came in all had one thing in common: encryption. It was discovered that the fundamental reason for the problem was that many of the tax-related forms were encrypted files that could not be viewed or edited by the SignEasy mobile app, which was not supported by the mobile app. Additionally, because mobile phones have emerged as a viable platform for tax preparation, users required a way to sign encrypted documents while on the go.
After identifying the issue, SignEasy programmers set out to resolve it, and we’re pleased to inform you that these password-protected files are now supported by the iOS version of the software.
Verify that your PDF file is encrypted before printing it (not password-protected)
It is not the same thing to have a password-protected PDF as it is to have an encrypted PDF. You must understand the difference between the two to ensure that your sensitive document or contract receives the appropriate level of security.
Opening a password-protected PDF file necessitates the use of a password, but neither the PDF nor the content contained within it is encrypted. A malevolent actor can simply circumvent or even erase the passwords from these documents, making the content readable and editable by anybody with access to the document. These PDFs are less secure than PDFs that have been encrypted.
PDFs that have been encrypted
All of the text included within an encrypted PDF has been scrambled (encrypted), which means that even if the password is bypassed, your data will not be accessible.
In essence, in the case of encrypted PDFs, the encryption and the password are two independent things that would both need to be broken to have access to the information contained within. Even if you used typical hacker methods to strip out the password, the PDF would still be unreadable because there would be no way to decode it. With a supercomputer taking longer to crack 128-bit encryption (which is one of the weaker encryptions used in SSL) than the current age of the universe, a breach of that magnitude seems unlikely to occur.
This type of PDF is incredibly secure if it has been properly encrypted.
How to determine whether or not the PDF you’re signing is encrypted
Once you’ve been provided with the password by the person who supplied you with the PDF, you can typically determine the level of encryption in a standard PDF viewer by looking at the security details in the document. The File or Properties menus are the most common places to find this type of information.
It is possible to look for “security” in the help menu of most software, after which you can follow the on-screen instructions to find out how encrypted your PDF document is.
SignEasy software allows you to sign PDF documents that have been encrypted.
Signing an encrypted PDF is difficult to do without assistance, and it is not always possible to do so with basic PDF viewers. Instead, you’ll need to enlist the assistance of software to authenticate it (and to ensure the signature itself is protected once you do).
Although most basic PDF software contains a signing capability, the signature and the PDF are usually never encrypted, which means they lack the necessary security and accountability to be considered secure. You’ll want to utilize an eSignature suite such as SignEasy to assist you in encrypting and tracking all of the signatures on your PDF.
It is possible to download the SignEasy app to either your PC or mobile device. On mobile devices, there are two versions available: one for Android smartphones and another for Apple devices. Once the app has been downloaded and installed, all that is required is that you run it, open the encrypted PDF, and sign the PDF. All of the difficult work has been completed for you.
Every signature that is involved will be digitally audited (making them trackable) and encrypted with SSL encryption to ensure that they are secure.
Biometric gates may also be beneficial, especially when contracts are being signed on numerous devices at the same time. It provides an additional layer of protection, which is always a good idea.
What types of PDFs should be protected from eavesdropping?
Although not every PDF contract you send or receive requires a high level of security, the vast majority of them should be encrypted to protect you and any other parties involved.
Listed here are some of the most typical encrypted PDFs that you may encounter, as well as the types of PDFs that you may need to be encrypted.
PDFs containing financial information should be encrypted. Can you tell me whether the PDF contains any financial information about any of the parties involved? This includes bank information, account numbers, tax data, and any other information that could put the assets of anyone involved at risk. Make a copy of it and encrypt it.
Real estate contracts, tax documents, loan agreements, and financial partnership contracts are all examples of documents that would come under this category of documents.
PDFs that contain sensitive information should be encrypted. Is there anything in the PDF that could be construed as “trade secrets”? Make a copy of it and encrypt it.
The following types of sensitive intellectual property should be provided and signed as encrypted PDFs: legal papers, merger and acquisition agreements, patents, copyright agreements, manuscripts, screenplays, and any other type of sensitive intellectual property.
PDFs containing medical or personal information should be encrypted. Is there any sensitive medical or personal information contained inside the PDF contract? Make a copy of it and encrypt it.
Medical consent papers, medical diagnoses, guardianship forms, and adoption documents are all examples of documentation and contracts that may need to be signed and that should be encrypted before being sent to the intended recipient.
Paper contracts can (and should) be replaced by encrypted PDFs.
People are changing their routines and implementing new workflows, and current encryption and eSignatures can assist them in making these transitions.
SignEasy not only provides a secure mechanism for you to sign sensitive, encrypted papers, but it also gives a user-friendly interface for you to keep track of all of your documents. Your contracts will be encrypted, your eSignatures will be tracked and safeguarded, and you will be able to locate all of those contracts with relative ease in the future if necessary.
Make use of tools such as SignEasy to contribute to a society that is more efficient, safe, and paperless.