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How to Share Digital Files Securely

by Hung Nguyen

Do you need to send files to others securely online? Here are your options.

The internet is a scary place. Just earlier today, it's been reported that Yahoo! will be paying a whopping $50 million in damage to the 200 million users who were affected by the security breaches back in 2013 and 2014. As such, you may be scratching your head as to alternatives to the good old days, where you can email files to other parties as attachments.

Afraid not, as you don't have to revert to manual print-and-post of documents. Check out all the options that you have below.

Dropbox and Google Drive


Both of these popular online hosting platforms are popular platforms to store files online and generate share links with others within a click of a button.

Though there are a plethora of other services out there, Dropbox and G-Drive triumphs due to their large amount of storage offered - even for free users, editing features and mass integration with other online tools to manage your documents effectively. We likey!

For team accounts, they also offer flexible pricing to help your team to stay informed, connected and productive.

Get your free Dropbox or Google Drive account today.

Lastly, we also favor these two services because they are integrated within Smallpdf. Thus you can import and export files as you'd like, straight from our website.😉


Save as PDF


The Portable Document Format is a highly preferred file when it comes to sharing files as it is light, easy to manage and shared. Furthermore, files cannot be edited when stored as a PDF.

If you need to convert Word, PPT, Excel or images to PDF format, do check out our PDF Converter for this. It's free to use. Your file secure is also our utmost importance, which is why all file transfers use SSL connections, and we also delete your files after an hour of processing! Happy converting. 😊

Password Protect Files


Sure, you can use a service to lock others from editing your PDF files, but the data can still be analyzed.

However, if you lock it a password, no-one can view the content, unless they have access to it. And we're not speaking about just any passwords, but those that are heavily encrypted and cannot be unlocked with online password removers.

Pro tip: If our Unlock Password tool can unlock your password, then it's no good. Encrypt it with our Protect tool! We assure you, not even we can crack these passwords.

Pro tip 2: If you need help setting a strong, but easy-to-remember password, check out this article on 'How to Set a Strong Password the Old-School Way'.

How to lock a PDF file with a password.

Dashlane and LastPass


Speaking of passwords, you can also share passwords to online file storage with others using password managers such as Dashlane and LastPass.

These two useful tools are quite similar and store your username and passwords all in one place. Just like Smallpdf, all connections adopt SSL. Furthermore, a secure password can also be generated with these tools, which prevent you from ever forgetting them! However, when working, we'd advise sharing files with tools such as Dropbox, rather than sharing access to your account.



Though it may be tempting to use our popular compress tool to reduce the file size of your PDFs and send them via an email. However, if you have a large file, that may not even be in PDF format, why not check WeTransfer out?

It's a popular online tool that you can use to send large documents (up to 2GB) via emails at any time! WeTransfer also has stated that their privacy and security standards "are compliant with the high level of personal data protection required by GDPR and the Dutch UAVG (Uitvoeringswet Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming). Your files are encrypted when they are being transferred (TLS) and when they are stored (AES-256). Once your files are safely stored, they can only be accessed using the unique links sent to the sender and recipient."

Read more about it here and transfer your files today!

WeTransfer's pretty UI.

Bonus: Send and request e-signatures


If you need others to sign a document, why not check out our newly improved eSign function. This nifty tool enables you to send documents to others, request signatures and for other parties to create, sign and seal these PDFs, which will be delivered right back to you!

And if you need help to get started, read out 'Electronic Signature Tutorial', semi-freshly brewed on our blog, at the time of writing.

Happy sharing!

Hung Nguyen
Marketing & Customer Satisfaction Manager
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Made with for the people of the internet.