Acrobat will allow you to apply password security to a PDF file, therefore giving you control over who can open your file. There are times, however, that you may want to similarly control documents that are not PDF files.
Here's an example: I have six files that I want to email to a coworker. Because the files contain sensitive material, I don't want just anyone to be able to open them. One of the files is a PDF, but the others are not. A very slick method for securing the files would be to use Acrobat's Security Envelope feature. A Security Envelope is a PDF file (actually a PDF form) that has attached files. Since the Security Envelope itself is a PDF file, one can easily apply security to it, and therefore protect the attachments, regardless of the file type.
To start the process, click the Secure Task Button and choose Create Security Envelope.
Click the Add File to Send button to browse for your attachments. You may do this process as many times as needed to find files in multiple locations.
Once you've collected your attachments, click Next. You will then be given the opportunity to select your desired envelope template. These are simply PDF forms, and you can create your own if you wish. I chose Interdepartment eEnvelope. I opted to send my Security Envelope later in the next screen.
The next screen will allow you to select a pre-defined Security Policy, or the opportunity to create one from scratch. (A Security Policy is a memorized security routine that can be applied and reused to PDF files quickly and efficiently). You can bypass security settings and apply them later, or not at all if you prefer.
You will end up with a single PDF file. In this case, it truly resembles an interdepartmental envelope--complete with red string and fastening grommets!
There are form fields ready to be filled with appropriate information. Once saved, the security is applied to the PDF file. The attachments are included inside the PDF, and covered by its security settings. If a user cannot open the PDF file (he/she does not have the open password, for example), they cannot get to the attachments.
A very cool feature that many folks have never seen! Want to learn more? Sign up for one of my live, online Acrobat classes.