Secure Image Protection for Web Images
This article is not about file encryption for images stored on
your hard drive or password protecting them to send by email.
Instead we are discussing how images displayed on web pages can
be protected from copy, save and downloading.
Most web browsers are designed to pirate web content
There are no options omitted when it comes to providing
the means and methods for copying and saving web pages and their
images. To make their browsers as appealing as possible, browser
designers have empowered the user to copy, print and save
anything on a web page and just in case they cannot click to
save it directly, they provide options to
"save page" and include everything on the page with one click of the mouse.
Copy protecting images in common web browsers
Preventing access from every possible
angle is most difficult. The usual options for copy and save are:
Most of these options can also be initiated by using hotkeys such as "Ctrl C" for copy to the clipboard and so on.
One naive method for preventing copy involves the disabling of
the mouse right-click menus, but even without mouse-click the
user still has options via the
keyboard. However, even after disabling all
of these options, whatever is displayed on a page is still at the mercy of screen capture
software and/or retrieval from browser cache.
- Right mouse click to "save as".
- Browser menu option for saving the page with all files
- Right mouse click to save the page with all images.
- Highlighting by mouse select and copy-and-paste to the
- Click select by mouse and drag-and-drop to the desktop.
- Browser menu option for sending to printer or file
- Right mouse click to send page attached to an email.
- Browser menu option for sending as an email attachment.
- Using Ctrl C or Print Screen to create a screenshot of the
- Using screen capture software and recorders to copy pages
- Locating the download resource of images from view of source
- Using site and file grabbers to download all images used on a
- Using file grabbers to retrieve media from web browser
- Packet-sniffing to intercept media locations.
Site grabbers and image
downloaders can spider a web page just like search engines to
build indexes of files to download. These apps can target
specified file types and collect every one of them from your
In theory, web page encryption should prevent the location of
files linked from a web page. But any encryption based on
useless because the web browser finds the decryption
key in the very source that it is supposedly protected. To
display the page, the browser needs to decrypt it and
once decrypted you are back at square one again with the
unprotected page on display with all of its HTML and source code.
While the page may have been delivered to the browser in
encrypted form, the images stored in browser cache are not.
Limitations and requirements
Contrary to what some "copy protect" developers claim, it is
impossible to prevent copy using client side scripting such as
plugin (by installing extra software) that is empowered at system level system
to control and manipulate cache. Anyone making claims to the
contrary is preying on the user's and possibly their own
naivety, and these include all protect solutions that use html
There are solutions that are secure but they are not available
for all operating systems (OS).
Today's OS fall into distinct family types such as Windows, Linux,
Android, MacOS, etc. The only image protection solutions that
are effective can be used by Windows OS only. Windows can
support proper protection functions and is considered stable to
warrant development time and an adequate life expectancy. All
other OS either cannot support proper copy protection or are too
unstable to survive a rollout, ie: by the time your user
upgrades to the latest update that OS will be
Securing images in popular web browsers
There is no solution that will adequately protect content that
can be used with all operating systems. Yes, there are solutions
available for all OS but they offer no protection from Print
Screen or screen capture.
Secure Image Protection is one example and it is supported
on Windows, Mac and Linux computers. As well as providing
protection from save and downloads, the image files are
encrypted and domain locked to the owner's website and cannot be
used anywhere else. Consequently such images are most secure
while stored on the web server and are safe even from your
But there is a more effective solution and one that is safe from
all copy including screen capture.
CopySafe Web Protection is the most secure protection for
images but does have one limitation. It is supported across all Windows versions since XP
only. However that does amount to 92% of all
Internet users. The remaining 8% is a mixture of
OS, 2% of which are comprised of search engines and media
CopySafe Web uses a web browser plugin
CopySafe Web is the most secure solution for displaying
encrypted images and it is the encrypted image that activates
the CopySafe plugin when it loads.
CopySafe Web can be used with all types of web applications
CopySafe Web can be added to any web page regardless of which
programming language is used for the page. If you are
using a CMS and/or have limited HTML skills, ArtistScope
provides a variety of free modules for integrating CopySafe Web
with most popular CMS solutions:
Secure web browser vs web browser plugin
The ideal solution for copy protecting web content is by not
using any of the popular web browsers at all, but instead using
a web browser that is specially designed to protect the content
that it displays. Such a web browser needs to display generic
web pages and media but without providing any options that can be
used to save, print and copy the page or download any
media displayed on that page.
Today there are a few custom web browsers available that claim
to satisfy these requirements. Some are merely reskinned IE
engines that still expose browser cache and some others have
been designed to restrict some save and copy options. But the
mistake that most custom browser developers are making is that they
are trying to support all operating systems (OS) and that is where
they fail because proper copy protection is not possible on
Mac and Linux based OS.
The most secure web browser
There is only one web browser that is safe from all methods and
copy and save, and it is supported on all Windows OS since XP.
Unlike pretentious "secure" browsers, the
ASPS Web Reader provides:
Even when the page and media is on display in the web browser,
nothing can be copied in any way... that is, without using a
camera to take a photograph of the computer screen. The ASPS Web
Reader, short for
ArtistScope Site Protection System, is the most secure
web browser and the only web browser that can
effectively protect web page and media from all methods of copy
- Creates a secure tunnel between the web server and the
- Safe from packet sniffers even without the use of SSL.
- Web pages cannot be viewed by any other browser or
- Embedded media resources cannot be located in page source
- No content or code can be retrieved from web browser cache.
- All media is safe from file grabbers and downloaders.
- Protects all media without requiring that media to be
- Pages cannot be printed unless allowed by the
- Pages cannot be copied by using Print Screen to take a
- Pages and video cannot be screen recorded or captured.
- Absolutely no options for copy and save.
The ArtistScope Site Protection System (ASPS)
ASPS is not just a web browser. Instead it is a server to
browser solution that has been designed from end-to-end with
copy protection in mind. Web pages assigned for use by the ASPS
Web Reader are delivered in encrypted format from the server and
they can only be decrypted by the ASPS Web Reader, thus creating
a most secure tunnel between your site and your visitor.
Intercepting this page is useless as it cannot be deciphered
except by ASPS and it cannot be hacked.
ASPS is supported on all types of web servers
The ASPS filter can be installed on all Windows
servers/computers running IIS since XP and all Linux servers.
ASPS is supported in all types of CMS and web applications
ASPS encryption does not affect the web application or
programming language used to create web pages because it
encrypts and delivers the page after it has been assembled by
the server. So it doesn't matter if your website is based on
Sharepoint, PHP, ASP.Net, Classic ASP or good old static HTML.
Consequently any and all CMS applications like DotNetNuke,
Drupal, Joomla, Moodle and WordPress can be run from a ASPS
Preparing a website for ASPS
No special treatment like encryption or conversion is required
as the only preparation required is to add a line of HTML before
the page's DOCTYPE statement. So to protect pages you add this
tag and any pages not including that tag will not be protected
and redirected to open in the user's default web browser. This
way you can cerate doorway pages and leave sections of your site
accessible to normal browsers and then most securely protect
only those sections or pages that are critical to your mission.
Downloading and evaluating ASPS
The ASPS Web Reader can be
downloaded from their demo site. After download, simply
follow the links for "Guided Tour' to explore a variety of
different media that can be protected by ASPS.
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