Metadata in Your Files May Reveal Hidden Personal Information

. In Windows XP, it is possible to add a tag or comments to any file’s metadata. See this article for some details. Starting with Vista. Microsoft limited the availability of editable metadata to certain types of files such as images, music, and Microsoft Office files. *Metadata in Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets Office files are of particular interest since they can contain considerable amounts of personal information. Your name, your company, name of your computer, your collaborators, revisions, and much else may be included. Much of this is buried in the file and you may not be aware of it. Various versions of Office have a “Document Inspector” that allows removal of personal data from Office documents and spreadsheets. The path depends somewhat on which version you have but, in Office 2010/2013, Document Inspector is opened from: File->Info->Check for Issues->Inspect Document. When the Document Inspector dialog opens, follow the instructions on how to delete personal data. You can also check out the detailed discussion of removing personal data in Office documents that is given at this Microsoft page . Metadata in PDF files PDF files can contain metadata that is not discoverable by using Windows Explorer. Instead, a PDF reader is required. Adobe Reader allows you to view and edit certain metadata such as the author’s name. Other PDF readers will have a way to view metadata but may or may not provide for editing or deleting it. For example, Sumatra only allows you to view metadata. The general procedure in PDF readers for revealing metadata is to open the menu File-Properties. Editing PDF metadata with Adobe Reader is described at this link . And there you have it – how to keep your files from revealing more than you want.]]>

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.