Can PDFs Be Dangerous?

After Word documents, PDFs may be the most commonly exchanged file types for lawyers.  We use PDFs for letters, contracts, briefs, forms and bills.  But can those PDFs we download or receive so often harbor hidden dangers?

The short answer is yes, as How-To Geek explores in a recent HTG Explains article: Why Does Chrome Say PDF Files Can Harm Your Computer?

The helpful article runs through several features of the PDF format that can lead to security vulnerabilities, including its support for JavaScript and the ability to embed rich content into the documents.  It also notes some of the ways that security on PDFs has improved in recent years.

What can you do to minimize your risk exposure?  The simplest strategy is one you should already be applying to files of all types: don’t open documents or files sent to you from people you don’t know and trust, and be extremely careful when downloading files from the web.

For more on the subject, check out these recent posts

About Joshua Poje

Joshua Poje (@poje) is the Director of the ABA's Legal Technology Resource Center, where he provides technology and practice management guidance to attorneys throughout the country. He is the editor of the annual ABA Legal Technology Survey Report and a frequent speaker and writer on legal technology topics. Follow him on: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+

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