Is MS Word Spilling Your Secrets?
MS Word is said to be the most popular word processor in the world. But unless you are careful, it could be revealing all kinds of information behind your back. You need to pay attention to security with Word, just as you do with your computer.
Say you use Word to create and share documents and projects, or to make submissions on jobs or real estate. The recipient can see all the changes you made while developing the document, including dates, who wrote it, initial information (such as the price you are willing to pay), and all changes (such as your revised price), and more. Sometimes this data is necessary for legal or other purposes. And sometimes not.
Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to largely prevent these problems and subsequent embarrassment if the wrong people see this type of info. Depending on your version of Word, here are a few things you should do to secure your data:
*Before starting to create the document, turn off the Track Changes tool. Click Tools, Track Changes. In earlier versions of Word (2000 & before) click Tools, Track Changes, Highlight Changes and clear the box marked “Track Changes while editing”. Notice that the letters TRK at the bottom of your screen are now grayed out.
*Fast Save speeds things up when you save a document, because it saves only the changes. But you should turn this feature off, to prevent deleted text from being saved as well. Click Tools, Options, Save tab and clear the “Allow fast saves” box. Click OK.
*You might want to remove all personal information from a document before sending it out. Click Tools, Options, Security tab. Under Privacy options, click “Remove personal information from file properties on save”, and click OK. In earlier versions, click Tools, Options, User Information tab, and delete the text in the boxes. Click OK.
These three simple steps will remove much of your tracks and changes in Word. Additional data remains, and can be cleaned up with specialized software.