How to Encrypt PDF files

How do I encrypt a .pdf file containing sensitive information so that it is safe to send via email?

If you are on a Mac computer:

1. Locate the .pdf file you are needing to encrypt in Finder
2. Right-click the file and select Open With > Preview

3. In Preview, Choose File > Export.

4. Check the box next to Encrypt and type in the password you want to use to encrypt it in both fields.*

* choose a password that is at least 8 characters, and unique. DO NOT USE YOUR SVVSD PASSWORD.

5. Select Save, and the file is now ready to be Securely emailed.
Note: This file will now be inaccessible without entering the password to open it, so the person receiving the file will need to know the password. Do not send the password to the file electronically, instead communicate the password via phone or in person to keep the document secure.

If you are on a Windows computer:

You will need the Pro version* of Adobe Acrobat DC to encrypt files, You will not be able to follow these steps using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

*If you do not have access to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and are a current SVVSD Staff member who needs to encrypt .pdf files, please email to request access

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
  2. Select the “My Computer” Tab and browse for the file you want to encrypt

3. Select “Protect” from the Sidebar on the right side, or the Tools Tab

4. Select “Protect Using Password”

5. Enter the password you wish to use in both fields and select Apply

*make sure the password is at least 6 characters