How to Share Your Documents Securely to Those Outside Your Organization within a Limited Timeframe

Would it be good for your business if someone alters your documents without your permission or misrepresents them as their own? Of course not.

This is why you must ensure that documents sent to recipients outside your organization are still completely under your control. If this is not the case, your Intellectual Property will be compromised when someone amends or copies your documents without your permission.

But, sharing documents securely is not always easy to do. And, unfortunately, it becomes even more challenging if you prepared the documents using traditional tools and services, such as a word processing package, a picture creation tool or a web page creation tool. Such tools don’t provide any document security controls and so document amendment is easy for any recipient.

So, how can you prevent your documents from being modified or misrepresented by unauthorized people?

You should use external document control software such as document DRM. Such software uses Digital Rights Management (DRM) controls and encryption to ensure the controls you have placed on your external documents are not trivially bypassed and that content can’t be modified by recipients using readily available tools.

Using external document software allows you to set different types of controls for your external documents as per your needs. For example, you can determine which users can view your documents, prevent unauthorized sharing, and control what authorized users can do with them (including copying, screen grabbing, and printing).

You can even set for how long documents can be viewed by expiring the documents’ accessibility after a fixed date (expiry date) or after a certain number of days, views or prints. Any decent document DRM software should also allow you to instantly revoke access or extend or reduce the document use period.

If you don’t want documents to expire you can set the document expiry date to ‘never’ but doing so means you can’t change the end date. This is not a problem however when you set a fixed date or a number of days, views or prints as described previously – you can just amend the document expiry settings on the administration system. That’s it!

And, if you use publications to manage your protected documents, you can modify (for example remove) the access period for specific users or change the access periods so that a whole group of documents expire at a new date.

But, that’s not all. Using external document software also means you can check the online license of a user before he or she opens the document. If the number of times a user may view a document is reached, the user will no longer be able to access the protected document. However, you can change the amount of times a user can view the document at a later stage in the administration system even after the document has been distributed. This change will then come into effect the next time the user opens the document.

So, on the one hand, you can share a document securely with a fixed expiry date for all users, and on the other hand, you can extend the access period for specific users if you want to do so, or revoke individual access.

All in all, if you want to control the availability and use of your documents with little effort, external document control software is your best bet. If you distribute documents in PDF format then take a look at how PDF DRM software can enable you to share documents securely.

Do you have any questions? Please feel free to leave your comments below; we would love to hear from you.

Author Bio: Karishma works as full time content writer. Her main writing includes on various tech related topics. She currently writes for Locklizard, A software company dedicated providing digital rights management security software for PDF documents and files.

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