PDF files stored on our smartphones contain a variety of sensitive data, such as bank accounts, medical records, wills, contracts, and more. These details, of course, need to be kept secure from prying eyes. Alongside the locking mechanism set up on your phone, why not safeguard the access to these PDF documents using a password? This process only takes a few seconds and provides effective protection against data leaks.
Securing PDF Files Stored on Your Phone
With the expansion of the internet, the exchange of PDF files has become commonplace. However, this ease of sharing also carries some risks. Every day, there are stories in the media about data breaches or information theft.
Each PDF file shared online could potentially fall into the wrong hands. If it contains sensitive or confidential data, the damage could be significant. To avoid such scenarios, it’s crucial to put in place effective security measures.
Encrypting PDF files with a password is currently the most reliable solution for protecting the content of your documents. As you will see, this operation can be completed in just a few clicks from your Android smartphone.
Steps to Protect PDF Files on Android
Adobe’s Acrobat site offers various tools to convert all your work documents (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, or image file) into PDF. However, what most users don’t know is that this converter can also protect your PDF files using a password.
- Launch your preferred web browser.
- Open Adobe’s PDF converter page at the following address: https://www.adobe.com/fr/acrobat/online.html
- Log in using your Adobe credentials.
- If you do not have an account, you can create one for free.
- Click on the ‘select a file’ link to drag and drop a document.
- Place the file to convert in the corresponding area.
- Wait a few seconds for the PDF converter to process your request.
- You can use the quick tools located in the left menu to add comments, modify the text, combine several files, or enhance the text with images.
- Next, open the PDF file protection page at this address: https://www.adobe.com/fr/acrobat/online/password-protect-pdf.html
- Once the page has loaded, click on the small blue arrow to the right of the ‘select a file’ button.
- Click on the ‘from recent files’ option.
- Select from the list the document you wish to encrypt.
- Press the ‘Continue’ button.
- Then enter your protection code in the ‘Set password’ field.
- Don’t forget to re-enter your protection code in the ‘Confirm password’ form.
- Validate by clicking on the ‘set password’ button.
- Download to your smartphone the PDF file you just encrypted.
Your File is Now Protected
Adobe Acrobat also has a sharing system that allows you to create a link to access the file without adding it as an attachment in a message.
The next time someone tries to open this file, the system will ask for the password. Don’t lose it; otherwise, you will never be able to access the data in the PDF document again.
A small color bar appears at the bottom of the screen as you enter your password. This bar, ranging from red to green, will assess the security level of your PDF’s access code. This indicator is very useful in helping you choose a robust password.
Adobe recommends using a password of at least 6 characters for your PDF files. This password should also include letters, numbers, and symbols. To prevent it from being easily identifiable, you should not use personal information such as your date of birth, phone number, or name.
In addition, never send the PDF file and the password in the same message (email, WhatsApp message). If your messaging system is hacked, the hacker would then have both your document and its access code, giving them complete access to all your content.
It’s recommended to share the password separately from the PDF file, and preferably using a different communication tool. This practice greatly reduces the risk of an intruder getting hold of your personal data.
Encrypt PDF Files from a Computer
The free version of Acrobat Online offers a number of basic features such as converting and protecting PDF files. However, these features are limited or restricted in the free version.
To have unlimited access to Acrobat’s tools, including the ability to convert a jpg image to PDF format, you will have to subscribe to one of Adobe’s paid offers. The Acrobat Pro version will cost you 23.99 euros per month.
If this price seems too high and your PDF conversion needs are relatively high, you can always turn to free alternatives like LibreOffice.
Keep in mind, however, that this tool does not (yet) offer a mobile version (iOS or Android). This means that you will not be able to protect your PDF files with a password from your Android smartphone or tablet.
Guide to Secure PDFs on Windows PC
The open-source office suite LibreOffice is an excellent alternative to Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat. Not only can you convert documents and create PDF files for free, but you can also protect them with a password.
- Download and install LibreOffice for Windows on your PC directly from the publisher’s site: https://www.libreoffice.org/
- Open the application once installed on your computer.
- Click on the File menu at the top of the screen.
- Search your hard drive for the PDF file to protect.
- Click on the document’s name to open it in your workspace.
- Once the document is open on your computer, click on the File menu in the menu bar in the upper left corner of the screen.
- Select the ‘Export as’ option.
- In the submenu, click on ‘Export to PDF’ in the file options.
- A new popup window will open with different options.
- Click on the Security tab.
- Press the ‘set password’ button.
- Enter the access code (password) to protect your PDF file from nosy people.
- The system will ask you to re-enter the password to avoid any typing errors.
- Press the Ok button to validate the creation of your password.
- Click on the Export button to save the secure version of your PDF file.
From now on, opening and modifying this document will require entering the password you previously determined. Without this crucial password, it will be impossible to access the content of the document.
LibreOffice benefits from the support of a vast community of developers constantly working to improve its features and security. However, this office suite does not offer all the advanced features that can be found in a full-featured PDF creation software like Acrobat or PDF Creator. It’s up to you to choose the one that suits you best.
Note that the basic version of Acrobat Reader only provides a set of tools to read and annotate PDF files. You cannot use this application to convert a document or JPG images to PDF format or even protect a file with a password.
What is the easiest way to password-protect a PDF on an Android device?
You can easily protect a PDF with a password on your Android device using Adobe’s online tools. The steps involve uploading your PDF, choosing a strong password, and then downloading the password-protected PDF back to your device.
Are there any free alternatives to Adobe Acrobat for encrypting PDFs?
Yes, LibreOffice is a free, open-source alternative to Adobe Acrobat. It offers a variety of functions, including the ability to export documents as password-protected PDFs.
Is it safe to password-protect PDFs?
Password-protecting your PDFs adds an additional layer of security to your sensitive information. However, it’s essential to use a strong password and not to share the password and the document through the same communication channel to ensure the highest level of protection.