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I send a file to approvers using "send comments via email" option. When they receive the email, they open the file, then place a green "approved" stamp on the document, which shows their names, dates and times. However, we found out the approvers can edit the identy of the stamp, so they can change the name on the stamp to be someone else. There is even a way to change the property of the comment so it shows the same someone else made the comment.
Is there anyway for me as the ower of the file to prevent those approvers to edit the identity of the stamp and change the property of the comment?
I'm looking for a secure way to obtain approvals, and would like to use the stamp function, not the digital signatures.
Thanks so much!
You can't prevent this.
While you can't really prevent it, you can make it more difficult for users who don't know what they are doing. And you can absolutely set it up so that you can tell if the doc has been tampered with.
How do you set it up to know if it has been tampered with?
See my answer below
There are a couple easy of things you can do that will allow the stamp, but prevent general editing.
1. Save the document with passord security that allows comments.
2. Save as certified with permissions to allow commenting. Requires commenters to have public key of digital certificate. Any changes outside the permissions will invalidate the certification.
3. Save with "Extended Commenting Rights". Can be broken by saving as a copy, but then you'll know.
All of these techniques can be broken by some 3rd party PDF viewers and by malicious users who know a lot about what they are doing, but in general they are pretty reliable.
A more solid solution is to use a more sophisticated server based methodoloy, such as Adobe Sign, and/or a custom approval stamp. Or to be able to install software on the approvers system that would help in managing the process.
Use a digital signature instead of a stamp.
Yeh, this seems to be the only way to be secure.