In today’s world, where data gives a competitive edge, greater attention is paid to data protection.

Any leak of confidential information can cause direct financial harm to an enterprise, indirect losses of reputation and opportunities, among other adverse effects. As a consequence, exchanging PDF documents in a secure manner is becoming increasingly more important.

Securing a PDF file prevents unauthorized or unaccredited persons from opening, printing, or editing it.

However, there are disadvantages, as password-protected PDF files are not as secure as we might perceive.

Attention, several tools, and online services with varying capabilities are able to break the password and restrictions set on a PDF file.

Security measures that protect PDF files

Security measures that protect PDF files# Various measures are in place to secure a PDF document against unauthorized access or improper usage.

The most popular measures to enhance PDF documents security are:

  • Watermarking as we have already learned in an earlier lesson How to Dynamically Watermark PDF Pages.

  • Setting restrictions on copying, printing, or forwarding a PDF document.

  • Document tracking.

  • Document expiry or self-destruction.

Among these measures, the easiest method of data protection remains locking the document with a password. This method balances both security and usability.


This lesson aims to show us how to encrypt and decrypt a PDF document using a lightweight command-line-based utility developed in the Python programming language.

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