According to Simon Byers, computer researcher at AT&T's research laboratory, documents published online may unintentionally reveal sensitive information that could be used for corporate espionage or identity theft. Mr. Byers found that, using an ordinary search engine, the free software tools 'antiword' and 'catdoc', and a simple home-made script, he was able to collect 100,000 Word documents, many of which contained sensitive hidden or deleted information. Mr. Byers focused on Microsoft Word documents because of their ubiquity, but he believes other documents formats may be equally vulnerable. Microsoft is working to develop ways to ensure sensitive information isn't inadvertently left in files. The next edition of Office 2003 will include tools that will allow users to remove personal information from a document, according to Neil Laver, UK group marketing manager for Microsoft Office products.
I've only done this to a few very close friends that have asked me to or i wanted them to stop sending word documents. I very easily go inside word documents and tell people the information that i now have and they never suspected that i did. Word documents are dangerous people, well if you work on anything that you want to keep private. a person who posts word documents is basically sharing far too much information, post things as html or ascii text only, you don't want some of this information shared, believe me.