Q: Can I use Windows Rights Management Services protection to protect my Microsoft Office documents if my organization hasn't implemented a back-end enterprise-level Rights Management Services infrastructure?

A: Yes, this is possible thanks to the new Microsoft Rights Management for individuals offering. Microsoft Rights Management for individuals is a free offering for users in an organization who want to protect files and read files that others have protected, but the organization hasn't implemented an Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) infrastructure or isn't leveraging the Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS).

To use Microsoft Rights Management for individuals, users must download the Rights Management sharing application and sign up for a free Microsoft Azure account. Figure 1 shows the Microsoft Rights Management for individuals installation screen.

Setting Up Microsoft RMS

A successful installation of the application will add a Share Protected button to the Microsoft Office applications' toolbar, as Figure 2 shows.

Viewing the "Share Protected" Button in Microsoft Word

The Rights Management sharing application can be downloaded for the Windows, Windows Phone, Android, and iOS operating systems (Apple OS X support is planned for the future). You can use Microsoft Rights Management for individuals to RMS-protect Office 2013 and Office 2010 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) and PDF documents.

For more information about Microsoft Rights Management for individuals, see "RMS for Individuals and Azure Rights Management" and "Introducing Microsoft Rights Management for individuals."