Difference Between ‘user password’ and ‘owner password’ for PDF Files

Written By Sam on 13 January 2011
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Adobe PDF is one of the very widely used file format. Many people prefer sending docs over the Internet in PDF format. Even many banks sends the financial data in PDF format. The reason many people prefer PDF files is that you can read them with a freeware tool called Acrobat Reader and the other very good reason is that you can easily protect your PDF files. Basically you can protect your PDF files by setting a “user password” or “owner password”. These passwords for PDF files helps you to protect your confidential data.

user password and owner password for PDF Files

User password is usually set when you require the user to enter a password for opening the PDF file. The “user password” for PDF files is mainly used by Banks which requires you to enter a password to open the file. So when a user password is set only those that know this password can open and read the password protected PDF file.

Owner password is set for PDF files which prevents other users from changing the rights of the file. When a “owner password” set for a PDF file a password is not requested for opening the file. But when you want to change something in the file then the password is requested. The PDF document will specify operations that should be restricted even when the document is decrypted: printing, copying text and graphics out of the document, modifying the document, or adding or modifying text notes and AcroForm fields using the “owner” password.

How to Open Password Protected PDF Docs

There are many applications out there which will help to open PDF files which are protected by both ‘user password’ and ‘owner password’. PDF files with owner password are usually decrypted which gives you access to the restricted features and files with user password are guessed for the password using brute force or dictionary attacks.

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