Redacting documents is easier said than done, but most people won’t accept this until they end up in the middle of a PR crisis and a potential lawsuit. Have you ever manually blacked-out confidential information in a document to keep this information safe from prying eyes? Did you know that all it takes is for someone to copy-paste this document into a new document to reveal the contents you had hidden? Now you know.
When you do your redaction manually, it doesn’t take a skilled hacker to make it seem like you didn’t do any redaction at all. For this reason, it’s important to know what not to do when you need to redact a confidential document. More importantly, you need to know how to do your redaction properly to keep confidential information private.
Common redaction mistakes to avoid
Back before the world had gone digital, you could easily do manual redaction with satisfactory results. After all, all one needed to do was cross out the confidential information and it would be hidden from readers – irretrievable for the rest of time. Now that we’re living most of our lives in the digital realm, we have several modern tools for redaction. However, if you go about this the wrong way, there are also many tools that can be used to undo your redactions.
In order to avoid becoming another story of a redaction fail, it’s important to avoid making the following mistakes:
- Blacking out the confidential information with boxes or a text highlight tool
As we previously said, blacking out specific sections of text in a document is not enough to hide the text from external parties. By simply copy-pasting the text into a new document, anyone can reveal the hidden sections of text. And if no one is curious enough to do this, Google can also read whatever text you’ve blacked out. Assuming the text contains information about a client, this client will then be linked to the document in search engines. In other words, whenever someone Googles this person’s name, the document will pop up in the search results.
- Changing the color in the section of confidential text to white
Changing the color of your text to white might seem like a foolproof technique because the text then blends into the background of the document. However, as with the blacked-out text, all one needs to do is highlight all your text and change the color to read the missing information.
- Failing to redact the metadata in your document
While using software to redact text, many people make the mistake of forgetting the metadata. This might seem like a small deal. In reality, whoever has access to this document can use the metadata to extract information regarding the origin of the document as well as the original contents.
These mistakes aren’t unusual – many people have used one of the above techniques and assumed that their documents were safe until the contents were revealed by someone else. In fact, manual redaction is a mistake that former loan consultant Amanda Levay admits that she’s made.
“As a loan consultant, I would get tons of confidential documents sent to me for due diligence packages,” Amanda explains. “I was constantly emailing confidential documents such as tax returns, social security numbers and account information. What’s more, I was receiving appraisal and inspection reports from lenders. I always found myself unable to hide the confidential data.”
Amanda tried one of the techniques highlighted above – blacking out confidential text by putting a white box over it.
“I soon found out, along with many others, that this approach didn’t work,” Amanda adds. “When you’re working in finance, these are not the mistakes you want to make.”
Convinced there was a better way to handle confidential client information, Amanda set out to build Redactable.
What is Redactable?
Redactable is a cloud-based, AI-driven platform built to redact confidential documents. This redaction software leverages AI/ML technology to auto-detect confidential information in a document and redact it permanently. By delivering secure redaction, document scrubbing and collaboration tools, Redactable is the gold standard in redaction software.
Redactable is launching with 900k in pre-seed funding raised to deliver this software to professionals in different industries across the world. With support from renowned VCs like The Fund, Hustle Fund, Revelry and Stony Lonesome Group, the future at Redactable is bright.
Since Redactable is a web-based application, it is designed to be easy to use. You don’t need to download and install any software on your computer before you use it. Likewise, you don’t need to install any plugins. With its wife range of features, Redactable is well-positioned to serve companies across the following industries:
- Real Estate
Given that the software uses document scrubbing to get rid of the metadata, you can rest assured that no one can hack or reverse your redactions. In other words, with Redactable, your organization won’t turn into a cautionary tale of yet another redaction gone wrong.
Considering all the ways in which manual redaction can go south, using redaction software should be a no-brainer. While most redaction software solutions accomplish general redaction tasks, here’s what really makes Redactable stand out from the pack.
- Automated Redaction
Redacting a document with a few pages may seem easy, especially if it’s in your area of expertise. But what happens when you have several files that need redaction within a limited time? This can be a headache, even for the most skilled redactor. With the automation function in this application, the file size is never a limitation. You can redact countless files and meet your deadline. Simply use the automated redaction option, and the inbuilt AI will manage the entire process for you.
If you have a document that requires redaction of specific data, this tool can still help you. In this case, you don’t have to use the auto function. Instead, choose the ‘Search & Redact’ function. It allows you to search for the terms and redacts them automatically.
- Eliminates Errors
Simple redaction errors can cost your company a significant amount of cash. Depending on the lawsuit, you could find yourself paying hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars for settlement. But that’s not all, lawsuit and error will cost your business its reputation.
You can avoid all of this by simply using Redactable. The level of accuracy of this tool when it comes to redaction is very impressive. The inbuilt AI ensures that all the sensitive information gets redacted.
- Reliable Results
Unlike manual redaction, the results from auto redaction are reliable, and that is especially the case with Redactable, which is powered by AI/ML technology to reduce errors and improve productivity. This platform comes in very handy, especially when handling time-sensitive tasks. Once you decide the mode of redaction that fits the project, implementing it is simple. And the outcome from it is concise. To a business, accuracy is an important asset, especially when you’re dealing with sensitive information.
Would you like to try Redactable out? Luckily, you can enjoy a free 7-day trial before you commit to subscribing. You can also connect with the Redactable team on LinkedIn and Twitter for regular updates.