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Chapter EIGHTEEN. Making Your Documents ... > TIP 150: Troubleshooting Security

TIP 150: Troubleshooting Security

Working with security policies can be confusing at first. It gets easier the more you work with them. To help you along the way, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Make sure the members of a review group all have the same sets of certificates; a missing certificate results in an unknown signature. You can get certificate information directly from a signature to use to validate that signature. Verify that the reason the signature isn't validating is not simply that the certificate is missing. Right-click/Control-click the signature appearance on the document and choose Validate Signature. The Signature Validation Unknown dialog opens, describing why the signature can't be validated. Click Signature Properties to open the Signature Properties dialog (Figure 150a). At the right of the Summary tab, shown by default when the dialog opens, click Show Certificate. When the Certificate Viewer dialog opens, click the Trust tab, and then click Add to Trusted Identities (Figure 150b). Follow the prompts to add the certificate to your list and verify the signature.

    Figure 150a. If a certificate is missing, or you haven't received one from a colleague, you see an unknown status for a signature.

    Figure 150b. Add a Trusted Identity to your system using a signature's certificate.

    Who Are You Today?

    When you create a policy you specify which of your digital IDs can access the document. Be careful with your selection. If you choose one digital ID and a method of application when building a policy, you have to use the same settings to open the document to which you applied the encryption; otherwise you can't open your own document!

    Select a Digital ID from the listing at the top of the Document Security - Digital ID Selection dialog, included in the wizard-like sequence of dialogs used to create an encryption policy. Check the options at the bottom of the dialog. In the Digital ID Selection Persistence section of the dialog, choose an option:

    • Ask me which Digital ID to use next time, which is the default. When you choose this option, each time you click a signature field the Apply Digital Signature dialog opens.

    • Use this Digital ID until I close the application is a useful option if you are in a workflow where you are reviewing, commenting, modifying, and signing documents.

    • Choose Always use this Digital ID if you work with one signature all the time.

    Saving Signed Files in a Browser

    You can sign a document in a browser, but it is stored differently than a signed document on your hard drive. Click Sign to sign a document in your browser; only the portion of the document that changed from the previous signature until you signed it is automatically saved to your hard drive. If you want the entire document, sign the document, and then click Save a Copy on the Acrobat toolbar.

  • Don't make a habit of using the certificates from signatures. If you have to use one, such as when you are offline, ask the person to send you a certificate file as soon as it is convenient or practical.

  • If you plan to use a signature field for users working with Adobe Reader, you have to add a blank signature field to the document. Choose Sign > Sign This Document or click the signature field and follow the prompts.

  • Keep track of your Digital IDs. If you create a public key encryption policy that uses a specific Digital ID, you can't open the document if you are using a different ID, which isn't good for your workflow! In many cases, you can create one ID and use it on an ongoing basis. Choose Advanced > Security Settings to open the Security Settings dialog. Choose the ID you want to use from the list, and click Set Default; choose the option from the pull-down list (Figure 150c) to set the ID as a default for signing, encrypting, or both.

    Figure 150c. If you use the same signature all the time, make it your default.



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