Password Protected Payslips - What you need to know

It is common practice for most users to apply an employee level password to email payslips, but users should be aware that this may not offer adequate protection to sensitive information.

Unfortunately there are PDF viewers available (both on PC's and mobile devices) that can bypass such passwords with the result that your documents may not be as secure as you think.

This is not a problem specific to CollSoft, it is a problem that exists generally with PDF files, and is acknowledged by Adobe as a problem - please see warning on pages 16, 41, 43 and 45 of the following Adobe guidance where they state that

"Note: Adobe products enforce permission restrictions. However, not all third-party products fully support and respect these permissions. Encryption and therefore document access would likely not be impaired, but Adobe cannot guarantee that individual permission settings will remain function. Recipients using such third-party products might be able to bypass some of your restrictions."

As such users should be aware that payslips that have an employee password can still be viewed using some third party software, and such passwords cannot be relied on exclusively.

Additional steps that you can take to secure your PDF Payslips

For additional security users can apply a second "Master Password" to their PDF payslips. This additional password adds a second layer of security to such documents, and in the vast majority of cases it ensures that the employee will be required to enter a password, even on PDF viewers which can bypass the employee level password.

When running the email payslips wizard choose the ‘Master Password’ field on the ‘Send Copy Email’ screen (the last screen of the wizard before you get the Finish button) .

This process simply enables a second level but does not replace each employees individually assigned password. You do not need to share this Master Password with the employee or anybody else in order for them to be able to view their payslip.

All users should be aware that there are many password cracking software applications available on the internet, and it is conceivable that even using a Master password could still be vulnerable to attack.
Creation date: 02/01/2015 23:46      Updated: 02/01/2015 23:46
Issuing payslips to employees via email