How to password protect a PDF on a Mac computer to secure sensitive files

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It takes about 10 seconds to add password protection to a PDF when you use a Mac's Preview software, and those few seconds you invest could save you hours of work and thousands of dollars if securing that document now prevents information theft later.

Whenever you are sharing a PDF with even potentially sensitive information, such as your address, bank info, Social Security number, and more, you owe it to yourself to encrypt the file, securing it with a password.

Password protected PDFs ensure that only the people you want can access them.

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Here's the quick and easy process for doing it.

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How to password protect a PDF on Mac

1. Open the PDF that you want to password protect, then click "File" in the taskbar at the top of the screen.

2. Select "Export…" from the dropdown menu.

3. At the bottom of the pop-up window, check the box next to "Encrypt."

If you wish to keep both a password locked and a standard copy of the PDF, make sure you save the encrypted version using a different name.

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4. Enter a password, then re-enter it where indicated to verify, then hit save.

Click "Save" to set a password for your PDF.

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