How to Make a Document Secured Against Piracy using Locklizard

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Here’s my story: I run a small subscription-based financial advisory services on the internet. I also send detailed investment plans with analysis to my premium subscribers over email. In a way, the documents in my website and the ones that I send over an email to my premium subscribers are my bread and butter. Hence securing these documents was of utmost priority for me.

Now I am not a very tech-savvy person. I was looking for an easy way to secure the documents, and I found one quite easily on the internet. 

Secure Virtual Data Rooms

A virtual data room, or better known as “VDR,” is an online database used by companies to store and share confidential information. There are multiple providers of such VDRs available on the internet, with almost all of them proclaiming to be very safe and secure. And I fell straight into this trap!

Even though superficially, the VDR seems to be a very plausible option for securing one’s documents, they are neither comprehensive nor full proof. I have listed below a few of the biggest issues I personally faced.

Login Process

A login process, completely dependent upon the username and password, is not a very sophisticated way for document security. Once a user accesses the secured documents with the help of the username and password, there is no stopping him/her from sharing them with others. Moreover, these usernames and passwords can be easily hacked as well, which made them quite incompetent to secure the documents on my website.

Screen Grabbing

With no software involved, I had no control over screen grabbing of the documents on my website. The best that I could achieve through JavaScript (obviously with the help of a friend) was to prevent the use of certain keys like “PrintScreen”. But there are many third party screen grabber applications available to take screenshots of my secure documents.

Printing to PDF

My premium subscribers could print the secured documents, but a few of them would print the documents directly to PDF and other file formats which they could then easily distribute to others. This was possible because the browser environment had no control over the printer driver. The option I was left with was to not allow printing of documents, which obviously was not a convenient option.

Other potential issues one might face with the VDRs may be:

Locking documents to locations: Even if some of the VDRs say that they can lock documents to a particular location, users can easily circumvent this with the help of a proxy browser.

Zero installation: No software installation and complete dependence on browser technologies like Java and JavaScript to control the view of the secured document makes it prone to hackers.

Offline Use: Since all these VDRs are internet dependent, there is no provision of making the documents available to a user when there is no internet connection available to him/her.

Document Upload: you have to upload your unprotected documents to a web server where they could be easily hacked or compromised by system errors

All these above issues, made me lose trust in these VDRs and look for a more effective solution and that is when I came across Locklizard.

What is Locklizard?

Locklizard, is a DRM (digital rights management) company that specializes in document security and copy protection for PDF files and documents, reports, ebooks and training materials. They protect your intellectual property from unauthorized use, piracy and misuse. The company have been in the business for 15 years and has over 4,500,000 users.

How Locklizard works

  • Locklizard uses its own installed secure PDF viewers
  • For security purposes, it does not use plugins, passwords or temporary files
  • No user login or password entry – transparent handling of key management by the licensing server and viewer software
  • Local document protection – no uploading of unprotected documents to servers
  • Track and log document views and prints, devices and operating systems users are using
  • Revoke and automatically expire access regardless of where documents are located
  • Stops printing to file drivers and unprotected file formats
  • Stops users using print screen and third party screen grabbers to grab document content

With these features, Locklizard has helped me tackle the security issues which were not addressed with the other VDRs. 

Final Verdict

Compared to the online VDRs, using Locklizard might be more complex at times, but Locklizard strikes a perfect balance between providing security and ease of use.  You can subscribe to a 15-day trial to understand the product features and their benefits.  Pricing details available here – both subscription and perpetual licenses are available so you can decide based on your requirements.