What you can't see can hurt you
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Thread: What you can't see can hurt you

  1. #1
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    What you can't see can hurt you

    The fact that private and sensitve data can get buried in documents (Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, and many others) is getting more and more press. It's hard to believe that excel files which include database connections can have the database location and PASSWORD 'hidden' inside in clear text. That's only one example among dozens.

    Microsofts 'Remove Hidden Data' Add-on addresses some privacy items but leaves all kinds of scary stuff in the docs. Has anyone tried the free tool from Bitform Technology on your documents? It's worth a look.

    Bitform Discover

    Also, have you ever noticed that when sending an attached Word document Outlook will add properties directly into the Word document that contain the sender's email address, display name, and subject line of the email? That's something I'd rather not have living on in my document after I send it.

  2. #2
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
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    The later versions of Office allow you to remove those "pesky" personal details too you know..... Upgrade....
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  3. #3
    Regal Making Handler
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    The later versions of Office allow you to remove those "pesky" personal details too you know..... Upgrade....
    Here's a $100000.00 kickback, keep it up my man.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  4. #4
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    Good point, Microsoft has addressed a few items, but only a few.

    The later versions of Office only allow removal of very specific personal data. Network paths,
    database passwords, network printer locations remain. Not to mention user names associated with a number of features. The real nuggets lie in features that have nothing to do with personal data.

    Plus, I don't know about you, but I'm not all that comfortable telling all the users in my company to 'Please remember to remove personal data before you send email attachments'.

  5. #5
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
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    Plus, I don't know about you, but I'm not all that comfortable telling all the users in my company to 'Please remember to remove personal data before you send email attachments'.
    Where I used to work, that would probably entail them not writing their damn SIGNATURE on the thing
    55 - I'm fiftyfeckinfive and STILL no wiser,
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  6. #6
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    A particularly scary use case of how hidden data in Office docs can bite you ... forum members that upload Office documents can give away their true identity. Not that I've been checking

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