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Is Smallpdf Safe?

by Anna Brinkkötter

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.

What happens when you use Smallpdf? Find out how Smallpdf protects your data and privacy while you’re using our PDF tools.

The Internet has made our lives much more convenient in many ways. But with this convenience comes an abundance of risk. Almost daily, we hear news stories about personal data being stolen and sold to third parties. Understandably, you’ll want to be sure the sites you use online are safe. But how can you know which websites to trust and which to distrust with your personal data? Is Smallpdf safe to use? In this article, we’ll take a look at the measures Smallpdf takes to ensure that your data is safe from the moment you visit our website.

Encryption & HTTPS


The security of your data is of the utmost importance to us. When you access our website, you’ll always proceed with a secure connection. This is actually something you can verify yourself on any website you visit. All you have to do is look for the “https” prefix and the padlock symbol in your browser’s search bar. What this means is that the page you’re visiting is using secure data transfer protocols. They encrypt the data you send to this website, so no outsider can see it. Sites that don’t have this protocol implemented will only have the prefix “http” in their URLs. Depending on your browser, you may see an information icon or a hazard triangle instead of the padlock. At Smallpdf, we consider the HTTPS protocol to be the minimal standard. We use state-of-the-art TLS encryption to ensure the safety of your data from the moment you visit our site.

Safety Standards


We comply with the globally accepted ISO/IEC accreditation for applying an information safety management system (ISO 27001:2013). This means we have an excellent security system in place, keep sure it is operational at all times, and continually take measures to improve it. ISO is an international organisation with the goal to create standards in many areas. These standards ensure that products and services are safe, of high quality, and efficient. ISO operates as an independent, non-governmental agency. This ensures that their process is free of bias or influenced by political interests.

Our Servers 


An integral part of our pledge to keep your data safe is the location of our servers where your data is processed. Why is this important, you ask? On the one hand, the speed of your requests (like uploading a PDF) depends on the location of the servers. On the other hand, where the servers are determines which legislature it falls under. A server in the United States, for example, is subject to the Patriot Act, which makes any data stored in the country technically accessible to the US government. Our servers, however, are located safe and sound in Ireland, so they fall under the data laws of the European Union, which are, as we know, much stricter and user-centric.

Data Storage


Your files are your business, not ours. Our prerogative is to help you get the job done you set out to do; be it to make your PDF smaller for sending it out to others, to combine different documents into one easily, or to convert documents to or from PDF hassle-free. To do this, you upload your file to our servers and download the result. That means that your file makes a stop on our servers to fulfill your request. Of course, it doesn’t stay there, though. We have automatic processes in place that scan our servers continuously and delete files permanently after one hour. This should give you plenty of time to further process and download your document once you’re done.

There are two exceptions to this rule, though:

First, there’s Smallpdf eSign. eSign lets you upload a PDF for signing—either yourself or to request someone else’s signature. When you send your PDF to someone for signing, we keep the file online for 14 days. This is to make sure the signee has plenty of time to review the document and sign it. Once they’ve signed your file, your document is stored for another 14 days, so you aren’t rushed to download it on time.

The other exception only applies when you use our online file storage. These files are kept as long as you want on our servers. Should you delete a file from your online storage with Smallpdf, we’ll remove it from our servers within an hour (in case you clicked “delete” on the wrong file). We do not keep any part of your file post-removal.

Who Can See My Documents?


When you upload a document to Smallpdf, only you can see it. No one but you can view, edit, or otherwise access your files unless you explicitly give them permission to do so. The above-mentioned state-of-the-art TLS encryption and our secure servers guarantee the safety of your data 100%. Whether you’re using Smallpdf to convert or edit your documents or to store files using your customer account, you’re always in complete control of your files and who can see, edit, or otherwise access them.

Data Privacy


Last, but not least, let’s have a look at how your personal data is handled when you visit Smallpdf. The moment you enter any website, data is transmitted. To regulate what data may be collected and how this data may be processed, websites should comply to two key regulations: The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act). Smallpdf is both GDPR and CCPA compliant, ensuring that your data and privacy are secure.

Is Smallpdf Safe?


The safety of your data is of the utmost importance to us. Every step of the way, your documents are protected by TLS encryption, secure European servers, and your own control over them. We strive to provide you with an extensive, easy-to-use, and secure service that helps you to get things done without hassle.

“Is Smallpdf Safe?” is an important and justified question and we hope to have given you all the information you need to conclude that Smallpdf is the right service for you.

Anna Brinkkötter
Anna Brinkkötter
Guest Writer