July 23, 2022

How to Remove Sensitive Content From PDFs

Hackers, malicious persons, and your business competitors can use some of the information in a PDF file against you, your organization, or your team members. That is why you should remove or redact sensitive information from a file before saving it to the cloud. Personal information, health history, medical reports, educational information, and financial records contain sensitive data that you should hide from the public.


Portable file editing software has features to detect and conceal sensitive personal data before saving it in your company system or sharing it. For example, as you edit PDF  files for your students, staff, or company financial records, ensure you remove figures, dates, health details, and financial data to prevent public access.

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Learn more about data protection and privacy and how to protect personal data from the public from this post.


The Major Data Protection Laws

With the fast-growing technological advancement, businesses, learning institutions, parastatals, and government offices should implement measures to safeguard personal data and privacy rights. As a result, many countries have embraced data protection and privacy laws, although online fraud is rising.


The major data protection laws include the following.


Law against cybercrime: More than 60% of the world’s population goes online daily. Whether you browse the internet to learn, socialize and have fun, buy or sell goods and services or express yourself, you have a right to data protection. The law against cybercrime states the acceptable standards of behavior by internet users and minimizes harm to people and information systems.

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Personal information and data protection law: Business systems contain sensitive staff information, transaction records, and financial statements. Hackers can use these data to access funds fraudulently, tarnish your employees’ or company image, or obtain identification details of your staff for illegal activities.


The data protection law ensures personal information security and minimizes identity theft and other cybercrimes.


The electronic transaction legislation: Citizens access many government services electronically. You should provide personal information like ID numbers, residential address, and current employer to access the services. This may lead to exposure of sensitive information, which, if not safeguarded, can result in damage. The e-transaction legislation advocates for data security to mitigate fraud and cyber insecurity.

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Online consumer protection legislation: Consumers carry out many online transactions, purchasing groceries and other household items, playing at online casinos, and giving to charity. These transactions expose consumers’ to scams, fraudulent activities, and the risk of losing their finances.


The online consumer protection law contains policies that ensure safety in all consumers’ online transactions.


Which Industries Require Hiding or Deletion of Sensitive Content?

All companies and organizations that require proof of identity and residence during registration require the deletion of sensitive data. The education industry, financial market, health sector, and security are among the industries that require data privacy through hiding or deletion.

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Education: Learning institutions have learner and staff details in their system or saved to the cloud. Such details include dates of birth, residential address, and academic transcripts. If exposed, this information can lead to blackmail and cyberbullying, and therefore institutions should invest in cloud data protection.


Health: Health facilities keep patient information and health history in their database. If malicious persons access such information, they can use it to stigmatize victims suffering from terminal illnesses and other health conditions. Therefore, medical practitioners should keep patient information confidential and secure through cloud data security.


Banking and Financial Market: Customers offer sensitive information to access services and products offered by banks and the financial market. For example, when registering for a bank account, you must provide your signature and other details required for future transactions.

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Banks should hide this data because if fraudsters access it, customers may lose money.


The Defense industry: The defense industry plays a crucial role in protecting citizens, natural resources, the government, and infrastructure. The industry keeps sensitive information about the military and security structure, weapons, and target enemies. Any unauthorized access to this information can result in insecurity in a country, exposing its citizens to danger. Therefore, the military should delete sensitive content or secure it with cloud data security.


Find and Remove Hidden Content

Online PDF editors have the redaction feature that helps you to remove confidential and sensitive data from a file. Luminpdf, Foxit, PDF element and Expert have the best text redaction feature for removing hidden content.

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To remove hidden info, open your editor and select the PDF file to edit. Navigate its tools and click on protection>hidden information>select items >okay.


Once you have removed the hidden data, click save and name your new file. The changes you make on the file get synced by clicking on save, and the new file is free of hidden information.

Metadata, confidential information, comments, and links are some of the hidden content items that you can remove from a portable file.


You can also set your editor to remove hidden content from your file when sharing or saving to the cloud.

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5 Tips to Protect Your Personal Data

Creating and sharing files online has simplified collaboration and communication. However, ensuring that your data is secure is important to avoid cyber attacks and online fraud. The following tips will help you protect personal data.

  1. Avoid opening files with sensitive or personal data on free Wi-Fi because other users can easily access your emails and data backup. You should only use shared wi-fi for files with no sensitive data, such as learning materials.
  2. Your passwords should have many characters, including numerals, lowercase and uppercase letters, and symbols. It is difficult for hackers to crack and open files with long passwords.
  3. Incorporate a two-step authentication feature to your accounts And cloud encryption for more security.
  4. Change your passwords frequently to minimize account access by persons close to you after copying them.
  5. If you suspect messages and emails sent to you to be spam, avoid clicking on them. Scammers use such links and attachments to access your details.
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Online PDF editing software plays an important role in keeping our files safe through encryption, password protection, and access restriction. You should keep files with sensitive data secure by adding backup protection to minimize unauthorized access.

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