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 Macintosh 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

Note: Choose a unique password that is at least twelve (12) characters, and is NOT your district account 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 professional version of Adobe Acrobat Pro 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 St. Vrain Valley School District Staff member who needs to encrypt .PDF files, please email helpdesk@svvsd.org to request access.

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

3. Select Protect from the righthand sidebar or from the Tools tab

4. Select Protect Using Password

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

Note: Choose a unique password that is at least twelve (12) characters, and is NOT your district account password