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  • Password Protecting and Encrypting Adobe PDF files

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Contents


To password protect and/or encrypt a document using Adobe Acrobat Pro:

  1. Using Adobe Acrobat Pro, open the .pdf file you want to password protect and encrypt.
  2. Select File > Properties. The Document Properties window opens.
  3. Click the Security tab.
  4. In the Security Method field, select Password Security. The Password Security - Settings options display.Password Security option

    In this area, you have options to:

    • Require a password to open the document.
    • Set additional permissions on the encrypted file, such as restricting editing or printing.
    • Select options on what to encrypt (all contents, all except the metadata, or only attached files). *Encrypt all document contents is the recommended choice. 
  5. In the Document Open section, check Require a password to open the document.
  6. In the Document Open Password field, type the password.
  7. In the Permissions section, make any other optional Permissions choices.
  8. In the Options area, we suggest selecting Encrypt all document contents.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Retype (confirm) the password and click OK. A pop-up screen reminds you that these new settings won't take effect until you save the document. The file is now encrypted and requires a password to open it.
  11. Click OK to close the Document Properties window.
  12. Don't forget to save this password in a secure password manager and securely communicate this to any users or recipients of this file. NOTE:  Do not send an email with the file and the password in the same email.  Find some other way to communicate the password to users (e.g. phone call) other than email if you will be emailing the file. NEVER store Category III - Restricted data (e.g. HIPAA, SSN(s), Credit Card Numbers) on personal devices or unauthorized University-owed devices.
  13. Save the .pdf file.
  14. To remove password security, first click Cancel in the Password Security Settings dialog, and then in the Document Properties dialog set the Security Method to No Security.