Is Someone Stealing Your Source Code?

By: Michael Southon

That's a question that worries many people on the Internet. And some people go to great lengths to hide their source code.

There are several reasons you might want to conceal the source code of your web pages:

  • if you have web pages that rank highly in the search engines, you don't want people to see your meta tags

  • you don't want people copying your web page design or java scripts

  • you want to protect your website from email harvesters and other spam utilities

But can you hide your source code?

The short answer is no - to display a web page, the browser has to be able to read the source, and if the browser can read it, so can your visitors.

But there are ways to make it more difficult for your visitors to read your source code. Here are some of them:

(1) Adding dozens of carriage returns at the top of your HTML page

This one has fooled me a couple of times.

All you see is a lot of blank space - but just keep scrolling down and you'll find the source code.

(2) Using frames

When you try to view the source code of a page using this technique, all you see is the first ten or fifteen lines of HTML. But just save the page to a folder on your hard disk and then look for a sub-folder where the images in that page were saved to.

In the sub-folder you'll find an HTML file that contains the source code you were looking for. Again, this won't fool experienced users, but it's worth a shot. Here is the code:

(3) Disabling Right Click

This is an old trick and experienced surfers know how to get around it. Here it is anyway - a script that disables Right Click:

(4) Disabling View Source

I searched high and low for a script that disables 'View Source' in the browser menu bar, and couldn't find one.

Here is a script that is supposed to disable 'View Source' - I tried it out in my browser (IE 6.0) and it didn't work, so perhaps it only works in older versions of IE:

(5) Encryption plus frames

This is a technique that will work on all but the most experienced web surfers. Here is the code for doing it:

I've created a copy of my index page using the above technique - if you click on View Source, all you see is a jumble of characters:

Well, that's it! All you need to know about hiding your source code.

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