Three Tips to Collaborate Securely Online

In a business world that is becoming more digital by the day, and offices that can be located across the globe, online collaboration in your company has never been more important. With an increased online presence comes increased digital vulnerability. Managing and securing your documents should be at the forefront of measures to decrease risks while maintaining easy collaboration between teams and across the company. In this article, we’ll discuss successful document collaboration and how to help protect your work and your company.

Tip 1: Stay in control of your documents.

More than one-third of companies use email for document collaboration and sharing. Using email as your collaboration medium has the potential to create an unmanageable number of documents being shared. These documents are then printed, downloaded, altered and otherwise distributed, making tracking these files nearly impossible.

But what if you’re one of the other 66% of companies not using email? Some use Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for their collaboration efforts. Google Docs and similar apps provide an easy way to create, comment and collaborate, yet they come with their own inherent risks. Yes, you can prevent users from downloading and printing. But how can you prevent users from copying text? You can’t. Anyone who can view the document can then create content and share it. Users can simply create their own document with your information and share it with anyone they want.

So what’s the alternative? How can you ensure absolute control and security of your documents? The answer is a browser-based document viewer. (Preferably, a plugin-free, single-page HTML5 Web application.)

Using a document viewer to manage collaboration on your documents lets you stay in control of your information. You can set user permissions, ensuring that only people you grant access to will be able to view, copy or print your documents. A document viewer also simplifies your efforts by allowing you and other users to comment on, annotate and review documents without the need to download them.

In addition to streamlining collaboration efforts, a well-designed HTML5 viewer enables you to prevent unauthorized use of your content via digital rights management (DRM). With an HTML5 viewer, you can restrict downloading, printing and text copying. Your source documents stay secure on your server and any documents that are viewed by employees will be secure from edits or alterations.

Tip 2: Digital signatures save time and increase security.

Business principals in every industry have to sign thousands of documents every year. Free-hand signing all of these documents is a time-consuming, dated process. A paper document enables anyone to forge or alter a signature. All they need is the document and a pen and your company could be stuck with an expensive lawsuit, trying to get out of a contract that never should have been signed and approved.

Your organization can avoid this situation using an HTML5 viewer with digital signing capabilities. The viewer enables you and other users to sign documents without printing and scanning. With digital signatures, timestamps, IP addresses and other mechanisms used to track the signing of these documents, you can rest assured that you’ll always know who signed your documents and when.

Easily prevent fraudulent signatures. Just turn digital signing on or off depending on the user permissions. You’ll never have to worry about forged or altered signatures within an HTML5 viewer.

Tip 3: Redact information to ensure privacy.

The paper workflow process at some companies can be endless. Documents need to be printed, signed, scanned, and faxed or emailed back and forth. It’s too easy to lose track of documents and have information get into the wrong hands.

HTML5 document viewers with auto-redaction capabilities enable bulk redaction of content. Using simple search terms, personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive material is redacted. It’s not just hidden but gone from the viewed document. You can even redact information with a selection tool embedded in the viewer. You no longer have to worry about sensitive information leaking to unauthorized employees. This information is hidden and unreachable by unapproved parties.

And if you want to keep original documents unaltered and secure, without redacting information, you can utilize watermarking. When a watermark is created, the viewer can ensure that your document can’t be illegally copied and repurposed. Simply select the font size and text of the watermark and apply it to the pages that you want. It’s that simple.

Integrating a viewer into your content management system will enable you to share and collaborate on work, while keeping your documents secure. With features like digital rights management, digital signatures and redaction and watermarking, an HTML5 viewer is your solution to document security problems. Keep your documents secure on your server and incorporate a viewer today.

Accusoft provides document viewing, content and imaging solutions as client-server applications, mobile apps, cloud services and software development kits (SDKs). 813-875-7575, www.accusoft.com.

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