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Securing a PDF with a certificate

From: Acrobat X Essential Training

Video: Securing a PDF with a certificate

We have a very sensitive document: all of the payroll information for company. I would like to share this with one other person--maybe it's my accountant or my attorney. In order to give it the most amount of protection I can, I can instead of applying a password-based encryption--as I showed in a different video-- I can apply a certificate-based encryption, which means that only my accountant and myself are able to open up this document. It's based on knowing their digital certificates that you can create from digital ID.

Securing a PDF with a certificate

We have a very sensitive document: all of the payroll information for company. I would like to share this with one other person--maybe it's my accountant or my attorney. In order to give it the most amount of protection I can, I can instead of applying a password-based encryption--as I showed in a different video-- I can apply a certificate-based encryption, which means that only my accountant and myself are able to open up this document. It's based on knowing their digital certificates that you can create from digital ID.

I have already asked, let's say my accountant, Anne-Marie, to export her digital certificate and e-mail it to me, so I can use it in this document. I am going to show you how you can do it yourself, in case one of your colleagues asks for your digital ID, or your certificate. It's also known as a public key, in case somebody says I need your public key to encrypt this document. That's what we'll be using. But I already have one, as I said, and I will show you can use it to encrypt this document with certificate-based protection.

We are going to go into Tools, go down to Protection, choose Encrypt, and we are going to encrypt it with certificates instead of the password. You can just ignore this part on top. Down here, you need to choose what kind of components do you want to encrypt? The default is everything, which means the document and all of its metadata-- information like description and author-- which is a good idea if you are going to put this on the web. You don't want the search engines to be able to find this document, because your name is sitting in there.

What kind of algorithm do you want to apply? If you use 128-bit, then it's compatible with Acrobat or Reader 7 or later. You can use a higher level, a more secure 256-bit encryption, but only people with Reader or Acrobat 9 or later will be able to open it. I'm pretty sure that Anne-Marie has not been keeping up-to-date, so I am going to leave it at Acrobat 7. Then I will click Next. This dialog box says, "I assume that you want to be able to open this document yourself," so it's automatically adding my digital ID certificate to this.

If you don't want to, if you don't have one, you can create one on the fly with this Add Digital ID. If for some reason you try to ignore it and click OK and leave this blank, you will get a big warning from Acrobat saying, "Are you sure you want to do this, because this means that you will not be able to open the document." So you always want to have your name appearing here. If it doesn't appear there automatically, make sure and add one. Then click OK. Now we're going to look for the certificate that we asked our accountant to send to us. So I will click Browse, because I know where it is.

It's on my hard drive, right here. There is Anne-Marie. It exports as an fdf file. Now, I can select Anne-Marie and change the permissions of what she can do in this document. Whenever you choose Permissions, you will always get this warning dialog box that says, "Hey, you can set permissions as much as you like, but there are some third-party programs that can bypass this. We are just telling you." Okay, fine. So I can say, well, Anne-Marie can look at this, but I want to restrict the printing and editing of this document.

So it's similar to these kinds of settings that you can use in a password-protected one. But I actually don't want to set any permission-based controls on this, so I am just going to click Cancel out of here. We will continue to Next. Here's the summary of the information that we entered for this policy. It's called a security policy. And then click Finish. Security settings will not be applied until you save. That's the usual. So I am going to call this File > Save As > PDF, and we'll say "payroll-certenc2." I have a copy in here that I encrypted before, if you want to take a look at it.

Now if we look at our little lock icon, under Security Settings, it tells us that this document was encrypted using our certificate. Now what happens if somebody asks for your certificate for you to e-mail that FDF file to them, so they can encrypt a document with a certificate-based encryption for you? You go to More Protection down to here, Security Settings. I know it's not the most obvious thing in the world, but this is the one that you want. Security Settings keeps track of all of your security settings that are available to you on this computer.

Under Digital ID Files, you select your name. You might not see it at first. So you've got to click the little disclosure, plus symbol, or triangle, select your name and then choose Export. I will select that here and choose Export. It's going to create a certificate. Do you want to e-mail it to somebody else, or do you just want to save it on your hard drive, so you can e-mail it as you would like? So I will just save it to a file, and I will save it on my Desktop. You see it's Olivia Napolitano.fdf. Of course, you would want to save this in a secret folder some place, and then save it.

Then I can attach that to an e-mail and send it to whoever needs it, so they can encrypt a document for me. That is how certificate-based encryption works in Acrobat.

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This video is part of

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Acrobat X Essential Training

97 video lessons · 32009 viewers

Anne-Marie Concepción
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  1. 1m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Using the exercise files
      20s
  2. 55m 0s
    1. Opening documents and moving them around
      6m 3s
    2. Working with the toolbars
      5m 59s
    3. Working with the panels
      3m 43s
    4. Customizing the toolbar with Quick Tools
      4m 40s
    5. Using the Pages panel to navigate
      3m 57s
    6. Selecting and copying text and graphics
      3m 24s
    7. Rotating pages
      4m 49s
    8. Changing the viewing options
      6m 12s
    9. Reviewing preferences
      7m 6s
    10. Finding words and phrases
      2m 35s
    11. Searching a PDF and working with the Search panel
      4m 21s
    12. Sharing PDFs by email and with Adobe SendNow
      2m 11s
  3. 33m 18s
    1. Creating PDFs from Microsoft Office applications
      9m 46s
    2. Creating PDFs from Creative Suite applications
      8m 57s
    3. Creating PDFs from within Acrobat Pro
      4m 27s
    4. Creating PDFs from a web site
      8m 22s
    5. Creating PDFs from the clipboard
      1m 46s
  4. 30m 58s
    1. Editing text
      8m 51s
    2. Adding text
      4m 40s
    3. Editing images and graphics
      3m 39s
    4. Changing the page number display
      3m 48s
    5. Digitally signing PDFs
      6m 26s
    6. Cropping pages and documents
      3m 34s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Adding watermarks
      6m 17s
    2. Adding page backgrounds
      5m 41s
    3. Adding page numbers
      5m 56s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      9m 7s
    5. Adding bookmarks
      11m 30s
    6. Attaching files to a PDF
      7m 11s
    7. Adding metadata
      3m 45s
    8. Optimizing a PDF for file size and compatibility
      10m 12s
    9. Creating initial view settings
      7m 16s
  6. 37m 59s
    1. Adding hyperlinks to URLs
      7m 33s
    2. Creating links with the Link tool
      6m 9s
    3. Working with interactive actions
      6m 56s
    4. Creating and adding buttons
      6m 28s
    5. Adding video, sound, and SWF files
      7m 29s
    6. Adding page transitions
      3m 24s
  7. 27m 12s
    1. Extracting pages
      3m 53s
    2. Splitting a PDF into multiple files
      4m 13s
    3. Inserting pages from files and other sources
      5m 42s
    4. Moving, copying, and replacing pages
      8m 17s
    5. Combining PDFs
      5m 7s
  8. 27m 9s
    1. Exporting text
      8m 33s
    2. Exporting images
      6m 33s
    3. Exporting PDFs to Microsoft Word
      7m 21s
    4. Exporting PDFs to Microsoft Excel
      4m 42s
  9. 26m 27s
    1. Working with portfolios
      6m 57s
    2. Creating portfolios
      6m 26s
    3. Customizing portfolios
      7m 23s
    4. Optimizing backward compatibility
      5m 41s
  10. 32m 9s
    1. Creating an interactive form
      6m 42s
    2. Working with form fields
      6m 41s
    3. Editing field properties
      5m 34s
    4. Distributing and collecting forms
      9m 43s
    5. Enabling Reader to save form data
      3m 29s
  11. 34m 26s
    1. Adding sticky notes and other annotations
      9m 2s
    2. Using the drawing markup tools
      6m 10s
    3. Viewing, filtering, and replying to comments
      5m 24s
    4. Printing, summarizing, and exporting comments
      6m 35s
    5. Exporting comments to Word for Windows
      3m 28s
    6. Enabling extended commenting in Acrobat Reader
      3m 47s
  12. 25m 29s
    1. Understanding the different review processes
      2m 7s
    2. Using the email review process
      4m 33s
    3. Conducting a shared review with Acrobat.com
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Review Tracker
      4m 32s
    5. Using the Collaborate Live review process
      7m 23s
  13. 31m 2s
    1. Reviewing the print production tools
      5m 18s
    2. Previewing color separations
      3m 51s
    3. Using the Object Inspector to learn details
      3m 13s
    4. Working with the Preflight dialog box
      5m 34s
    5. Fixing hairlines
      3m 57s
    6. Converting colors
      2m 27s
    7. Saving as a standards-compliant PDF
      6m 42s
  14. 19m 16s
    1. Scanning a paper document to PDF
      4m 44s
    2. Setting up optimization options
      6m 48s
    3. Recognizing text in a scanned PDF
      4m 43s
    4. Reviewing and correcting OCR suspects
      3m 1s
  15. 17m 18s
    1. Using the built-in Actions for automation
      5m 32s
    2. Editing Actions
      4m 7s
    3. Creating new Actions
      4m 51s
    4. Sharing Actions with others
      2m 48s
  16. 35m 27s
    1. Choosing a security method
      5m 27s
    2. Password-protecting a PDF
      7m 28s
    3. Securing a PDF with a certificate
      5m 6s
    4. Creating a digital id
      5m 43s
    5. Removing sensitive content with the Redaction feature
      6m 52s
    6. Revealing and clearing hidden information
      4m 51s
  17. 33m 45s
    1. Opening and navigating PDFs in Reader
      7m 30s
    2. Adding comments
      3m 14s
    3. Viewing extended features
      6m 53s
    4. Digitally signing a PDF
      6m 15s
    5. Sharing PDFs
      2m 29s
    6. Using Acrobat.com
      7m 24s
  18. 3m 54s
    1. Final thoughts
      3m 54s

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