When to use PDFs? Portable Document Format

People are often very comfortable using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. These are tools that help us get through our everyday, whether we are at school, home or the office. However, we interact with PDFs almost everyday and few of us can boast the same proficiency. Why is this? Well, PDFs were originally designed (in the 1990’s) to either just be viewed, or to be printed, written on or signed, and then faxed. Governments, businesses and printing companies used them for forms, agreements, brochures and high-quality publications (and still do).

When to use PDFs? Portable Document Format

The idea that people from all spheres of life needing to create PDF documents on mass and edit, sign, send and file them purely online has become more and more popular, especially in recent times with the coronavirus pandemic making remote working and remote learning much more prevalent.

So when exactly should you use PDF documents, and how can you edit PDF documents? Read on and we’ll show you why PDFs are indispensable and also how to edit a PDF online for free, with the all-in-one PDF application, Lumin PDF.

When you want assurance of document formatting…

Imagine you have been tasked with sending out an important survey to clients, asking them to rate their level of satisfaction with different parts of your service. You open Microsoft Word on your desktop computer, add the custom font specific to your business, maybe the company logo and some graphics for recipients to mark their answers. Everything looks good and you send it out to all the required recipients.

If every single person has your version of Word and your operating system, there should be no problems, but what’s the likelihood of that? In this modern world, people are using an increasing array of devices and applications to access documents. If someone were to open the survey on their phone or tablet, or in a different application such as Open Office, they will see a different formatting from the others. Not only will this look unprofessional, the document may not be able to render something that was key to understanding the whole thing.

Business process

This is where PDFs show their value, as all design elements, images and fonts are included in the file. No matter what device a person is using or what application they open the document in, the PDF file will look exactly as intended. The application the PDF was created in is not necessary for viewing the file properly, unlike with a Word document.

So a document can be viewed easily, but what about formatting? Enter Lumin PDF editor, with a suit of advanced tools allowing people to create, manipulate, store and edit PDF files online with cloud storage integration. The same survey detailed above could be created with a fillable form template and customized with logos and fonts in minutes. You could then send the file, confidently knowing it will be viewed as desired.

When it comes to filling in the form, if the recipient doesn’t have PDF editing software, they would either have to print the document or edit the PDF in Word (possibly causing the same formatting problems as above). However, having Lumin PDF installed means that people can add text and fill in forms directly in the PDF from any device. Whether you want to work on your Windows laptop or edit a PDF on your iPhone, Lumin makes it easy, with no unintended changes in formatting.

When creating a rich document…

Creating a brochure, newsletter or glossy info sheets? A PDF document allows you to easily add images and hyperlinks, embed videos and incorporate parts of other documents. What’s best, with remote working, you can even create them collaboratively. Lumin PDF gives businesses the opportunity to edit PDF pages online. Through Google Drive integration, you can upload a document and share with colleagues. Real-time syncing allows everyone to see changes as you are making them, and annotation tools means co-workers can highlight sections, leave comments or make changes of their own. This is the simplest and best way to edit PDFs.

If you want an accompanying PDF pack for a presentation, you can convert text, graphs or tables from Word or Excel and merge them together into one well-formatted document. It’s also no problem if your document has very rich content, resulting in a large file. With a Lumin PDF account you are able to store your documents in the cloud, without taking up space on your computer, which you can compress when wanting to send to others through email.

When you want to be professional…

It is commonly acknowledged that PDFs are the standard for professional looking documents. When sending the document to a printer, there is no danger of resizing, things disappearing, or images changing quality. If being sent through email or uploaded to a website, PDFs can also be watermarked to lessen the threat of intellectual property theft, or locked so that members of the public can’t readily download and change any of the contents of the document.

Business men and women

Edit PDF text online with Lumin

While we’ve only looked at three points, you can see why PDFs are so central to our everyday lives. Editing PDF documents online is opening up new possibilities for people to use this file type in more efficient and effective ways. Lumin PDF offers users the ability to edit PDF files online for free and across all their devices. Collaborate with colleagues and friends, split and merge files and sign using an e-signature all within the one secure application.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • Identitytheft.gov: If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at www.identitytheft.gov. This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

When to use PDFs? Portable Document Format