Secret Messages that are not Secret

There are secret messages in your documents that are not secret. Both major word processing packages, Word and Word Perfect, contain hidden information that unless carefully removed can be a rich source of information to an opponent to whom the document is digitally distributed. Documents contain far more information than can be seen on screen.

A document contains information about the author, creation and revision dates, and other information about the lineage of the publication. The metadata as it is referred to can be used by a party to track revisions, additions, and deletions from the text. Therefore, care should be used to strip documents of these attributes when the document is to be distributed outside of the firm. Tips on stripping these attributes are available from both Microsoft and Corel. The Microsoft resource can be found The Corel resource is located at

Surprisingly, the Microsoft Office stores all previous revisions of a Word document within the document itself. The revisions can be removed. One easy way to strip most of the identifiable information from document is to open a document in your word processor, select all of the text and copy it, open the Notepad application, paste the text into the Notepad document, and save the document as a text document.