by August 10, 2001 0 comments

Copying your website, whether content or source code, is child’s play for anyone. All the user has to do is select the text of your painfully researched article (or your images and animation), and copy-paste it to his Web page. Similarly, right-clicking on your page and selecting View>Source code will make your HTML code available to anyone for ‘inspiration’. HTML Guard prevents your website from unauthorized copying.

The software is only 1 MB in size, and doesn’t take much time to install. The main window of HTML guard has five tabs,
each for a specific purpose.

Select files to protect

HTML Guard 2.0

Registration fee of $15

Supports Windows 9x, Me, NT and 2000; encrypts source code; disables right-clicks and text selection; blocks printouts; uploads protected files directly to server via FTP

Easy to use, will protect most sites as most people use IE

Limited number of browsers supported for some of the protection options


The first of these is the input tab, where you have to specify the HTML files to protect. You can also specify directories of HTML files.

Choose your output location

You have three options for saving your protected HTML files: overwrite the current HTML files with the new ones, choose a different location for saving the protected files, or upload the files to a server via FTP. For the latter, you obviously need to know the address of the server and you should also have a valid username and password with the appropriate rights. A The software also lets you take backups of your original files before it protects them.

Protect your source code

HTML Guard allows you to protect your source code by using various methods. The first method is encryption of your complete code–a person viewing your source will see only junk characters. This encryption is based on JavaScript, so the modified pages pages can only be viewed on a browser which supports at least JavaScript 1.0. For browsers, which do not support JavaScript, you can specify a message to be displayed.

The second method is called ‘squeeze’. This removes all the blank spaces between characters, so that it becomes very difficult for a person to understand your code.

The last method lets you inserts lots of blank lines into your source code–a deterrent for novices, who might not think about scrolling down for the rest of the code. However, an experienced user will know what to do.

Protect images and text

The Images/Text tab has features to protect your images and the valuable information on your website. The first option lets you disable the right-click menu. You can also specify whether to disable right click for the whole document or only for images. You can also write a nasty message that pop-ups every time a person right-clicks. However, this works only in IE and Netscape 3.0 and above. People using other browsers like Opera will be able to use the right-click menu.

It can also disable text selection on your page but this only works in IE 4.0 and higher. For IE 5.0 and higher browsers, you can make sure that people can’t even take printouts. Instead of the website being printed, the printer will simply print a blank page.

After having selecting the appropriate options in all the tabs, you have to click the Protect button. It then gives you a list of all protected files.

A shareware version of the software is given on this month’s CD but this will expire after a certain time. To continue using it, you’ll have to register the software for $15 at

Sachin Makhija at PCQ Labs

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