Secure Web Browser For Copy Protected Web Sites

Secure Web Browser

What makes a secure web browser depends on your interpretation, and whether you are looking for a web browser that is safe from Trojans and malicious web sites, or a web browser in which web data can be secure. If asking what can be the difference? Let's look at the differences:

Safe Web Browser

There are safe web browses like all of the popular browsers claim to be, and then there are "safe" web browsers that go further to ensure that the user cannot by accident or stupidity get their computer infected by visiting malicious web sites. Some of the latter can also be referred to as browsers for "parental guidance" with all sorts of access controls and limitations. Some even have anti-virus and Trojan checkers built into the browser component.

Safe Exam Browser

Safe exam browsers have been around for a while and are mostly clones of one of the popular browsers that will be limited by removing some options for installing add-ons, preventing access to the web (outside of the classroom) and preventing copying or saving of exam questions to USB for sharing.

Kiosk Browser

Kiosk web browsers are what you see in information booths and secured workstations. They are usually displayed fullscreen without a toolbar or any other options for showing menus other than what they are allowed to show. A typical use scenario might be in a library or other stock storage where the user can search for titles or products and then find in which aisle or depot they may be stored.

Secure Web Browser

A "secure" web browser is one that secures and protects the data and information that it displays. Popular web browsers do not do that, in fact they do just the opposite by making it as easy as possible for anyone to save, copy, print and therefore plagiarize anything that they can find on the Internet.

If the information displayed on your web pages is for select clients only, then you need to consider using a "secure" web browser and depending on the nature of your business and the data being displayed, apply secure copy protection.

Password Protection

Password protection is the easiest to install and enforce, especially when considering that most CMS provide member registration and login services and today, almost everyone is using a ready-made CMS of some sort. The most popular CMS are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Moodle (in that order) on a cheap and shared hosting service provided on Linux servers. For Windows server users DNN (DotNetNuke) is available. CMS written in Classic ASP are no longer supported due to lack of demand, but may corporate sites managed by in-house developers still use Classic ASP and will have further developed an old CMS to suit their own scenario.

Password protection will restrict access to your proprietary data but it will not prevent those who can log in from sharing that data. More on that later.

User-Agent Restriction

A "user-agent" is an identification string that is included in the request for a web page. For example, the Firefox web browser will have "firefox" in its user-agent string and so forth. Detecting user-agent and redirecting those that are unwanted can be a useful deterrent. Most people will not realize just how many applications are available for scraping and downloading your web site and media, but there are some strategies that can be employed to prevent most of it.

You may not be able to detect those that impersonate the user-agents used by popular web browsers, but you will find that most use their own unique custom user-agent to promote their software.

How you script that detection is up to you and will depend on your web sites backend. But in brief, start with getting the server variable for "user-agent", then compare it to a list of known offenders and if found, redirect that offender to a blank page. We will not provide a list of known offenders here because then 20 or more monkey-brains will be using that information to create yet another WordPress plugin to promote yet another totally unrelated business interest. Also, by doing some research on your own, you may learn something. Click for the most secure web browsing solution.

Media Encryption

Another strategy that can be employed is "encryption". Encryption can protect the data and media stored on the server from your web master and web hosting staff, and it can prevent leakage to those who may not have access rights to that information. For example one can check referrer and if it is a direct link and not referred from your doorway pages then redirect them. Either way, if they do not satisfy your criteria, do not decrypt the information. If you can use your domain name as the decryption key your content an media can be domain locked, and even if they do get a copy of the encrypted page, it cannot be displayed anywhere except from your web site. Click for the most secure web encryption solution.

Computer Identification

Individual users can be identified by the computer that they use. A unique Computer ID can be defined by obtaining the hard drive serial number or MAC address that is used for the Internet connection. Most of those in the copy protection industry are imitating the ideas of others and only capable of getting a MAC address, which is not ideal because a computer will have a different MAC address for different types of Internet connection, whether it be LAN, Modem, Wi-Fi, etc. Click for the most secure user identification solution.

Copy Protection

So far we have discussed the means of preventing unauthorized access to your web pages, and now need to discuss what can be done to protect them while open and on display. First, let's identify some methods of obtaining a copy while on display:

  • Page "save" will download and save the text and/or include all media displayed on the page.
  • Right-click menu can be used to select and copy images and text to the clipboard.
  • Right-click for "properties" will provide the web location of any media displayed on the page.
  • The Print option will send the page to the printer or a printer-driver for conversion to numerous file types such as PDF, etc.

Now you may have noticed that the "right-click" menu is mentioned a couple of times, so you might think that disabling the right click menu will protect your media. But you will be wrong, because the same menu options are available from the browser toolbar. You will not be alone thinking that because thousands of WordPress users use one of a number of "content protection " plugins that are a clone of each other, and all they do is disable the right click menu. Yes, just more plagiarism and what those monkey-brains do is download someone else's "open-source" plugin and rename its functions and slightly re-arrange their order in the script and voila, yet another ripped off plugin that they can use to promote an unrelated enterprise like web hosting or SEO services.

So when we talk about "copy protection" we mean methods of preventing all copy full stop, completely, without ado, and methods that cannot be exploited. Methods that can be and should be employed by those who need to protect their livelihood and mission critical data.

Click for the most secure copy protection solutions.

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