Microsoft Office automatically collects and saves your document metadata information by default. You may not be aware of this, but your name, people who contributed to that document, file creation and edit dates and other personal information is stored in a file and anybody can see that who has access to your file; either you send to someone personally or share publicly.
You surely don’t like someone to view your personal information or metadata about what you have done with the file and how it was created. Sometimes it may include sensitive
Data that was intended to be secret, but the simple Microsoft Office file played a role of spyware. That’s embarrassing indeed.
Find and Remove Hidden Personal Data
- Open a document that you want to examine.
- Click on ‘File’ menu.
- ‘Info’ label will be highlighted automatically. Click on ‘Inspect Document’. A menu will pop up, select ‘Inspect Document’.
- Document Inspector box will open containing some checkboxes for different contents. Check or uncheck items you want to view or exclude and press ‘Inspect’ button.
- All available information will be displayed for every content category. Click on ‘Remove All’ button for every content that has information attached and the corresponding metadata will be removed.
- Check if information has removed successfully.
Why You Should Remove Metadata?
The first reason is obvious, most of us don’t like anybody to know about our activities or user information or collaboration work. It damages privacy and personal information leaks. Another scenario is even more dangerous for some people who want to ‘cheat’ their bosses or customers. They will come to know how much time you spent on preparing this document. If it mismatches their requirements, they surely will take it negative and things can go against you. Anyhow, it was just an example, we know none of you is going to face such situation. But whatever the matter should be, it’s always recommended to remove all such information before dispatching your document to anybody. To remain safe, prepare a copy of the original document and remove metadata from copy. You can send the copy and make it habit to protect your privacy and security in future.