Restrict Access to your documents using Information Rights Management Service

Information Rights Management (IRM) is a service meant for restricted access to your Office Docs, workbooks and presentations. What does it mean? It simply means that you can specify access permissions on your docs, presentations etc to allow certain individuals to use it. It helps prevent sensitive information from being printed, forwarded, or copied by unauthorized people.

The beauty of the Information Rights Management Service is that once the permissions for the file has been restricted using it, the file access and usage restrictions are then strictly enforced and will be always there, as the permissions are contained within the file itself.

IRM can help the organizations to enforce their corporate policy governing the control and dissemination of confidential or proprietary information. Simply, Microsoft Office allows the organizations to keep their confidential and classified information to themselves. Yet, IRM doesn’t guarantee Content from being erased, stolen, or captured and transmitted by malicious programs such as Trojan horses, keystroke loggers, and certain types of spyware.

Microsoft provides a free IRM service which you can access using your Microsoft Account or Windows Live ID. Sensitive data will never be stored or sent to Microsoft. Your credentials and other relevant information is sent to the service but not stored.

Using IRM, you can protect Word files, Excel Files and PowerPoint files. As an example, let me show you how you can use IRM in PowerPoint. Click on the images to see the larger versions.

Information Rights Management in PowerPoint

  • Open the Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Click on File tab and then on Info tab.
Information Rights Management
  • Then click on Protect Presentation -> Restrict Permission by People -> Restricted Access
  • Then the IRM window will appear.
  • Choose the Yes option and then the Windows Right Management will appear. Choose the relevant option.
  • After filling your credentials, you should see Select Computer, Type Window.
  • You will see the final window soon where you will be asked to Add/Remove Users.
  • You will now be asked to set the permission on the document.

Click OK and all the settings will be saved.

Let us know how you find this tip, for restricting access to your documents.

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Harsh Mahajan is a Microsoft Student Partner. A technology enthusiast at heart, he has a tremendous passion for emerging technologies & trends like Cloud Computing & Windows Azure. He is associated with the International .Net Association as Brains Unleashed leader.