Why PDF is More Secure Than Word Docs in Business Communications

PDF (Portable Document Format) is one of the most used file types in the world. In particular, businesses prefer to use this document for all their communication. The reason for this preference is the level of security this file can have. Naturally, the same entities will prefer to use PDFs for presenting and communicating sensitive business details when compared to a word document. In this article, you will find out why PDF is more secure than word document in business communications.

Multiple Layers of Security

Protecting a PDF file is easy to implement. It can help prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing it. Although you cannot protect a document completely, you can stop most average people from accessing a PDF file.

In general, you can also password-protect word documents. However, password protection is usually the only layer of protection you can implement on a word document. On the other hand, you can secure a PDF file with a password, watermark, and more. The ability to add multiple layers of security makes a PDF file the preferred document for communication in business.

Use of Watermark

A watermark is a tool that is effective for protecting against the unauthorized use of large documents. Although a watermark can be implemented on a word document, it can easily be removed. On the other hand, removing the watermark on a PDF file is almost impossible.

If done correctly, watermarking can prevent confidential document leakage. To achieve this, you will want to include traceable information somewhere on the document, which indicates the source of a file. Many people include the recipient’s email address as a watermark so that the source of leakage can be quickly identified.

Digital Rights Management

If you want another layer of security on a PDF, you can implement digital rights management (DRM) on the document. DRM allows you to control the actions other users can perform with a PDF document. This strategy is commonly used for sensitive documents like intellectual property. Many electronic bookmakers use DRM to protect their work from being illegally used.

Implementing this strategy on a PDF file is easy. Once in place, a document cannot be copied or transformed into another file. On the other hand, the nature of a word document makes it inappropriate for use with a DRM.

PDFs That Expire

Most people believe all documents last forever unless deleted or the file becomes corrupt. Yet, the creator of a file can include an expiration date for a PDF file. Technically, this can also be done on a word document. However, implementing this option on a PDF file is more effective since other security measures can be used on the same document. In addition, copying information out of a PDF file is more challenging than a word document. Schools and other learning institutions usually include an expiry date to a document so that the file will self-destruct after the date. A student or educator will have to access the file again if they want to use it. Doing this limits the unauthorized distribution of such documents.


Document tracking is another layer is security that can be used on a PDF file. In most cases, including this option on word documents is not effective. However, you can easily track the people who access a document if you enable tracking on a PDF document. You can see how a document spreads to intended and unintended individuals. In some advanced tracking options, the owner of a file can enable a copy of a file to self-destruct once tracked on an unauthorized device.

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