Need Help



  • First, apologies for the post in this space - no clue as to the proper place to ask for help.

    I know zilch about writing web pages (I'm a CPA). I have a small site with a couple of static pages, mostly canned text and a few convenience links for my clients.

    Someone snagged the letterhead off the website, changed the phone number, and used it as a letter of credit to a bank. The bank recognized that the area code didn't match the address, looked me up, and called to verify. We had the guy arrested.

    Question: how do I prevent someone from grabbing the drawn letter head off the browser? Can it even be done?

    Again, apologies for the post in this space, but would appreciate advice!

    Thanks,

    Rob



  • It cannot be done.  If it's visible on the screen, it can be captured.  There is no way around that.



  • There is no way humanly (or inhumanly) possible to prevent this aside from taking the letterhead off of the website. As long as it is being displayed on the screen, there are half a dozen ways to get the image no matter what you do.

    First off, all images are downloaded into the browser cache, which is simply just a folder of images on your computer that you can navigate to and copy the image out, as long as you know where to look.

    You can right-click the image and choose "Save image as...", a much easier solution.

    Maybe you figure out some way to get around all that, maybe by making the entire website based on Flash animation that can't be saved as regular image files. Well, a person can still screenshot the web browser, crop out the extra crap and still end up with your letterhead with about 15 seconds worth of effort.

    Sorry dude.



  • Ah well. Thanks for the info - very much appreciated.

    Interestingly, the banks and cops swooped down on this guy in a matter of 15 minutes. It was interstate as well, so the FBI was called in too; he was trying to fraudulantly get money from a bank, so it becomes a federal charge. I guess I'll get to spend some time with a federal prosecutor...

    Thanks again!



  • Good to hear that they caught the guy, and amazing that they got him so quickly!

    Note to self: abort this afternoon's plans.



  • Other than the method you've described of getting images out of a Flash file, you can also find a Flash decompiler that will let you pull out all the resources out of a Flash file.

     Easier than cropping.

    Later
     



  • While there are a host of ways to make it more difficult for the image to be got, there is no way to make it impossible, because there's always the screen capture option.

    The only other thing I can think of is, if appropriate, to watermark the letterhead, e.g. with SAMPLE across it. But even that can be image edited out by a sufficiently determined crook.
     



  • To A Businessman: Just curious, how did you decide to post to this
    site?  I'm guessing as a CPA you're not a regular reader (though I
    could be wrong)...



     



  • [quote user="cconroy"]

    To A Businessman: Just curious, how did you decide to post to this site?  I'm guessing as a CPA you're not a regular reader (though I could be wrong)...

    [/quote]

    Synergy! What, you think accountants don't have to deal with WTFs and people who think they know accounting?

    "Oh man, he used a form 1431 when he needed a 1653(b)!"
    "The REAL wtf is that he forgot to make that expense amortized!"
    "Income is NEVER NEGATIVE! NEVER NEVER NEVER! These are called EXPENSES!"



  • My honest advice would be to not place official letter head on a
    website.  Treat your letterhead like it is private data.  Anyone you
    give a letter too will have it of course, but then they have to go through the
    trouble of scanning it into a computer and reproducing it that way.

    It is only less likely because less people have access to the letterhead, versus on the web where anyone has access.

    Just be thankful that the crook was not smart enough to acquire a temporary phone number in your area...

     



  • [quote user="cconroy"]

    To A Businessman: Just curious, how did you decide to post to this
    site?  I'm guessing as a CPA you're not a regular reader (though I
    could be wrong)...



     

    [/quote]

     

    That's the real WTF...  lol 



  • I like how the WTFs are coming directly to us now, cutting out the middleman!


    But yes, this is impossible.  If they can see it, it's theirs.  Kudos to that sharp bank, but 9 times out of 10, don't expect them to notice.



  • [quote user="m0ffx"]

    While there are a host of ways to make it more difficult for the image to be got, there is no way to make it impossible, because there's always the screen capture option.

    The only other thing I can think of is, if appropriate, to watermark the letterhead, e.g. with SAMPLE across it. But even that can be image edited out by a sufficiently determined crook. [/quote]

     

    Yeah, there really isn't a good way to get around a screenshot, so any of the other methods may not be worth the trouble.  Many sites that are in the business of selling stock photos and artwork embed a watermark in all of their images, but of course, nothing's foolproof. 

    But a watermark might send many crooks looking for another site with an easier-to-steal letterhead.  I guess it's more of a deterrent than anything else.  Unfortunately, it also has the disadvantage of mucking up your logo.

    Anyway, I'm glad they caught the guy -- must be gratifying!
     



  • But it'd look pretty awful if the graphics on the site were watermarked. :)



  • Assuming you have your letterhead on your site just to serve as a web page header, it may be sufficient to just keep the raw image of the letterhead to a reasonable size, say no more than 75 pixels high and 800 pixels wide for something spanning the entire page. That will look fine on the screen but suspiciously blocky or blurred when simply copied and printed onto paper.

    Of course in these days of easy access to color printers, it takes a forger little skill to create a convincing-looking paper letterhead from scratch using a drawing program.

    --RA



  • [quote user="Rank Amateur"]

    Assuming you have your letterhead on your site just to serve as a web page header, it may be sufficient to just keep the raw image of the letterhead to a reasonable size, say no more than 75 pixels high and 800 pixels wide for something spanning the entire page. That will look fine on the screen but suspiciously blocky or blurred when simply copied and printed onto paper.

    [/quote]

    Or you can put it on a wooden table...


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