Safeguard PDF Security stops screen grabber applications from taking screenshots of protected PDF documents. It disables the use of Windows print screen (prtscr) and stops screen grabs from being made by screen grabbing software.
Safeguard protects PDF files from screen capture – it stops screen capture on Windows, Mac, and Android operating systems, preventing users from taking screen grabs from both local and remote locations.
How to stop from users taking screenshots:
A screen mask is an image that is displayed on top of your document if the user moves the mouse focus away from the Viewer window.
Using this option prevents users from copying text by typing it into another application (e.g. Notepad) while the Viewer is running.
When you ‘disallow screen capture’ Safeguard will automatically block print screen and prevent screen grabbing of your documents.
In 2007, we announced a major step forward in anti-piracy controls by adding functionality to prevent PrintScreen and third-party screen grabbing tools (such as SnagIt and Windows Snipping Tool) from taking screenshots of protected PDF content on Windows. This was then extended to prevent screen capture on Mac and Android.
LockLizard was the first company to protect PDF documents with enhanced technical controls that resist all current PC-based screen grabbers, stopping one of the most common methods of IPR theft in its tracks. Stopping screen grabbing is an important step in protecting IPR since it is an easy and simple way for users to obtain high-quality copies of document content. Many screen grabber applications can automate the screen grabbing process so that an entire document can be copied very quickly and without user input.
Safeguard PDF Security can prevent print screen and third-party PC screen grabbers from taking screenshots of protected PDF documents. Safeguard secure PDF Viewers block printscreen and screen grabbing applications using a variety of techniques – these include blocking and clearing video memory and the use of image overlays to stop simple copying and pasting. Safeguard stops screen grabbing without monitoring keystrokes or screen grabber applications – system resources are therefore kept to a minimum and 100% compatibility with anti-spyware systems is assured.
While there is a real necessity to prevent print screen and screen grabbing, we recognize that there are genuine reasons to have screen grabbing tools. We developed our technology to prevent print screen and the grabbing of screen content only for documents we have protected.
The DRM technology we use to prevent print screen and screen grabber tools is not invasive and does not affect any other programs or the operating system. It takes the print screen protection that we can offer to a significantly higher level than any of our competitors, some of whom cannot disable copy paste or who just prevent print screen functionality by disabling use of the PrintScreen key. Secure data room systems that advertise as PDF DRM solutions, for example, cannot stop users from taking screenshots because the browser environment has no control over the Operating System.
Later updates to Safeguard Secure Viewer provided additional functionality to stop screenshot applications on remote computers from taking screenshots of protected PDF documents. It prevents users from using remote connection screen sharing software such as Web Ex, GoToMyPC, etc. to take screenshots remotely.
If a remote computer connects to a device that has a protected PDF document open in the Viewer, then it will prevent screenshots from being taken by masking the document content.
Safeguard Viewer for Mac was also updated with screen grabber prevention functionality, preventing screen grabs on Mac computers from both local and remote connections. If a user remotely connects to a Mac computer the Viewer is open on, then Safeguard displays a black or grey screen.
Equally as important as stopping screen grabbing is the ability to mask document content if the focus is moved to another window. When dealing with confidential documents, for example, you may not want users to be able to view the document while also copying text from it by typing it into another application (Safeguard stops copy/paste so typing text into another application is the only option available to users).
Safeguard PDF Security enables you to add a screen mask to prevent this. When focus is moved away from the Viewer window, an image covers the document so that content cannot be viewed.
When providing online teaching or a training course, you probably want users to be able to take notes even if they cannot take a screenshot. If this is the case, enabling the screen mask option would not be appropriate.
You would also not want to apply a screen mask if training course instructors are using your documents to teach courses and they’re using two windows – one to display the protected document and the other for notes /additional information. This is why the screen mask in Safeguard Writer is optional.
When a user takes a screenshot on Windows and Mac and pastes it into another application, then either:
When the user tries to take a screenshot of your document, they will receive the message “unable to capture screenshot prevented by security policy”.
Being able to use print screen is a feature of the Windows OS – users can simply press the PrintScreen key on the keyboard to take screenshots.
To prevent screenshots from being taken, you need to have a dedicated application installed that controls OS functionality and cannot be manipulated by users.
Preventing someone from taking a picture of the screen with a phone or other camera is a very difficult task. Naturally, your computer cannot tell if a user is pointing a camera at the screen and as such cannot blank out the content to stop the screen capture. To prevent screen capture in this way, the document would need to be housed in a controlled environment and users checked for recording devices before they interact with it. This wouldn’t really work if you have employees who work from home or need to share the document with external partners.
What you can do instead is apply a dynamic, identifying watermark to the document. Safeguard allows you to protect the document once and insert an irremovable watermark with the user’s name, email address, and company. Should they screen grab and share the document, it will be clear who the source of the leak is — providing a major deterrent.
Avoid data rooms and Adobe Acrobat protection and instead make use of PDF DRM software to block screen shots. An application-based approach will always be better at preventing screen capture because it has more visibility and control over the user’s operating system. However, it must also be able to prevent users from making an unprotected copy of the document and screen grabbing that. Locklizard fulfils all these requirements.
Unfortunately not. Apple does not grant app developers a way to prevent screen grabbing from happening on iOS and so Locklizard does not guarantee protection against it. Your best bet is to either disable use on iOS devices or apply a view watermark to the document that will immediately identify anybody who does screenshot and share it.
There are some registry keys or group policies that you can tweak to prevent the use of the PrintScreen key on Windows, but there are issues with this approach. Foremost, the user can still use a third-party screen grabber application or remote session to capture content. Secondly, it requires that the admin has control over the device, which is not likely in a work from home or partner-sharing situation.
Thirdly, even if you could prevent screen capture across your OS, it would be a bad idea. Employees would struggle to get support for issues and likely have a need to screenshot other content. It’s much better to prevent screen capture only on documents where it is needed using software like Safeguard DRM.
No. Adobe Acrobat does not contain any anti-screenshotting controls. It doesn’t even attempt to stop Windows print screen.
The above applies. The only way to stop screenshots in Google Drive is to ensure that the documents you upload are encrypted and can only be decrypted by a secure application on the user’s local PC.
No, we only prevent printscreen and screen grabs within our secure PDF reader applications that are installed on a device.