Protect your slideshow’s content with iSpring

Taking care of your slideshow's content is dramatically important. But what if you don't know how? Here I am at your service. In this post I'll introduce 5 different methods of presentation protection.

Before I start I want to share a 100% secure way: never show your presentation to anybody. :-) This would certainly guarantee that any unauthorized use is completely prevented.

If you are ready for more practicable, but less effective ways, just keep on reading.

1. Add a watermark to your slides

With iSpring Presenter you can add a watermark, an image that shows up on all of your slides. Usually, a company logo makes a great match for that purpose.

Watermark is a passive protection method as it doesn't restrict the use of your presentation by the third party. It's particularly handy for remote work. A watermark covers a part of a slide, and that's an obvious drawback for some users and a great mode for others. For example, you can send a project with removed watermarks only after your customer pays the bill.

Watermark takes special instruments for SWF decompiling to be bypassed and this can be performed only by highly qualified technical professionals.

2. Protect presentation by password

Protect your presentation with a password before converting it to Flash with iSpring. Thus your users will be asked to enter a password every time they launch your presentation.

The trick here is that the password gets encrypted into the presentation's core and the only way to hack it is searching through all possible combinations.

Cracking this kind of presentation protection is almost impossible without the necessary technical skills. And don't forget about the human factor as your secret symbols can be easily disclosed.

3. Allow playback at certain domains only

iSpring Presenter allows indicating your website or blog as only possible spots on the web where your presentation will be able to play. Any attempt to copy the .SWF to start it from another domain or a local computer will fail.

How it works? The Flash file checks if the domain name matches the name(s) you've specified in iSpring Presenter Publish-to-Flash window.

Unfortunately, this restriction is quite uncomplicated to work around, but there is a way to intensify this protection method by analyzing the value of the Referer HTTP header each time when your-presentation.swf is requested. This can be done using a scripting language of your web server. Your script will allow only the requests with the Referer HTTP-header containing your website address (it happens every time the page is displayed by a regular Web-browser). Even if a trespasser succeeds downloading the presentation file, a stolen copy won't play at a local computer or at any alternative unspecified domain which makes this protection mean highly effective.

4. Disable saving a presentation with the File-> Save as menu

The fourth method is setting a presentation to open in a new browser window that doesn't contain the menu and thus saving or printing of this page will be disabled. This approach is more likely an illusion of protection as its functionality depends on a browser type. Plus, it can only save your content from unprofessional intruders.

The following JavaScript code opens a page in a new browser window:

<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
function OpenWindow(url, title, width, height)
{
  window.open(url, title, "toolbar=no, location=no, " +
    "directories=no, status=no, menubar=no, " +
    "scrollbars=no, resizable=no, width=" +
    width + ", height=" + height);
}
-->
</script>

The following HTML code shows how to invoke the OpenWindow() function when user clicks the "Click to view the presentation" hyperlink:

<a href="#" onclick="javascript:OpenWindow('presentation.html', 'Presentation', 953, 619);">Click to view the presentation</a>

This sample can be downloaded here.

You'll wonder if there are any drawbacks of this method. Yes, there are some. First, you can still print the presentation page using Ctrl+P keyboard combination. Second, Mozilla Firefox users can still save it with Ctrl+S. So, only inexperienced users get restricted this way. Third, your presentation opens as a pop-up window, which can be blocked in browser settings.

5. Give access to your presentation to authorized users of your website only

If your site considers user authorization, you can take advantage of all the facilities of your server scripting language. Along with domain restriction (see #3), this method out of all others provides the strongest protection.

Remember one well-known fact: whatever can be seen, can be copied. So your slides can be easily copied with Print Screen, camera or just a pencil. :-)

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Posted in Presentation Tips & Tricks