Loyola University Maryland

Technology Services

Microsoft Information Rights Management (IRM)

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Information Rights Management (IRM) allows individuals to specify access permissions to documents, workbooks, and presentations. This helps prevent sensitive information from being printed, forwarded, or copied by unauthorized people. After permission for a file has been restricted by using IRM, the access and usage restrictions are enforced regardless of where the information is, because the permission to a file is stored in the document, workbook, or presentation file itself.

IRM helps individuals enforce their personal preferences regarding the transmission of personal or private information. IRM also helps organizations enforce corporate policy governing the control and dissemination of confidential or proprietary information.

IRM helps to do the following:

  • Prevent an authorized recipient of restricted content from forwarding, copying, modifying, printing, faxing, or pasting the content for unauthorized use
  • Prevent restricted content from being copied by using the Print Screen feature in Microsoft Windows
  • Restrict content wherever it is sent
  • Support file expiration so that content in documents, workbooks, or presentations can no longer be viewed after a specified period of time
  • Enforce corporate policies that govern the use and dissemination of content within the company

IRM can't prevent the following:

  • Content from being erased, stolen, or captured and transmitted by malicious programs such as Trojan horses, keystroke loggers, and certain types of spyware
  • Content from being lost or corrupted because of the actions of computer viruses
  • Restricted content from being hand-copied or retyped from a display on a recipient's screen
  • A recipient from taking a digital photograph of the restricted content displayed on a screen
  • Restricted content from being copied by using third-party screen-capture programs

How to use IRM

See instructions on how to use IRM with Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. For additional assistance, please contact the OTS Help Center.