ZIP files Security

What does controlling and revoking document access mean? And why would any organization require it?  What is the need to give your recipients access to view your PDF files only to take it away from them at a later stage?  Perhaps it may not appear rational right now, but several reasons point to the importance of controlling and revoking document access which you need to know.  Let’s cover them now.

Compliance and regulations

Data protection laws are regulations that you need to comply with when it comes to holding valuable and personal information regarding your customers.  If you carry the data for longer than required, it could lead to litigation.  In addition, you may also have to face penalties for noncompliance.  On the other hand, electronic PDF files that contain customer information can be stored for an infinite amount of time as they do not experience wear and tear similar to their physical counterparts.

Importance of controlling and revoking document access

You may have shared PDF documents with your colleagues in your area of work.  However, after a period of time, it can become challenging to track down every PDF file that you have shared and ensure that files no longer in use have been deleted on all devices. 

Since it can be nearly impossible to track down when you sent the files and what’s being done with them, here is where the ability to expire documents, and controlling and revoking document access comes into play. Controlling document access is particularly convenient in these scenarios and is far more timely than manually deleting every PDF file copy.  That means, when you choose to distribute a PDF document, you can control how the document is reviewed and set an expiry date or revoke access to it manually through a suitable PDF digital rights management [DRM] system.

With PDF DRM, you do not have to delete files in order to revoke access. Once the document has expired, it is no longer accessible to users. That means PDF DRM provides you with effective elimination of documents while at the same time staying compliant with rules and regulations.

Why you need to control and revoke your PDF documents

In many instances, PDF files and documents in organizations need to be updated from time to time based on the latest real-time data available.  Hence, if a PDF document contains data that is likely to be changed or is subject to revision, you need to expire access after a given period of time or revoke its usage once a new version is made available. This ensures that your authorized users are assured of having the latest information at all times.

Similarly, the need for controlling and revoking your PDF documents also comes in handy where your customers need to experience a trial before purchasing. For example, let’s assume you have the opportunity of evaluating a product in a shop before buying it. If you are unsatisfied, you can return the product. However, this can be a challenging issue when it comes to electronic documents. That’s because people tend to make copies of documents before the trial period ends, thus ensuring that they receive the document for free without having to purchase it.

Therefore, if you are in the business of offering or selling documents on a trial basis, you need to ensure that copies are not made arbitrarily. Hence, PDF DRM allows you to employ document control, expiry and revocation features to facilitate this. In this manner, once the user pays for the document, you can choose to set the expiry date to never.  You can also choose to revoke the document after several views, days, or prints or revoke it on a specific date.

When you use PDF DRM, you get the benefit of logging document usage. This gives you the opportunity of knowing when, where and how your PDF documents are being used. That means if any specific PDF file has been in use in a particular location and appears to have suspicious activity around it, you can identify it as a security problem and revoke access accordingly.  Moreover, if the PDF file contains classified information, your ability to revoke access through PDF DRM becomes invaluable.

In another example, perhaps a PDF document containing sensitive information has wound up in the wrong hands. Human errors such as this could lead to unauthorized use of your valuable content. And when documents are too sensitive to be left in the hands of unintended recipients, using your PDF DRM system to revoke access instantly can be extremely useful. Unfortunately, if your PDF file was not distributed through PDF DRM, you could be at risk of exposure, theft or misuse. Hence, employing DRM features to revoke access and have complete control over your PDF files can help you avoid such situations.


The ability to expire and revoke document access is critical in a business environment where confidential and sensitive information is being shared.  How and when you withdraw access to confidential PDF files can make the difference in safeguarding your sensitive or classified information and document security.

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.

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