File protection procedure

How many files can be protected in one project?

You can protect as many files as you want.

Is it secure to upload my files to the StarForce server?

You upload your files via secure https protocol. Protection is fulfilled in automatic mode and after this procedure you can delete your files from the repository, or they will be automatically deleted in 7 days.

How does binding to device work?

1. When you try to open the document for the first time, the viewer program asks you to enter a Serial Number (a unique combination of numbers and letters) which proves your right to open the document.

2. You enter the Serial Number that was received during the purchasing of the protected document.

3. The program collects information on hardware parameters of the device and transmits it with the Serial Number to the StarForce License Management Server (Internet connection is required).

4. The StarForce Management License Server checks if this Serial Number is valid and has not been used for the document opening on other devices, and then returns the activation key that contains the license information (printing option, validity date) and the signature of the device's hardware parameters.

5. The protection system on site checks the matching of activation key to the hardware of your device and allows you to open the document.

6. Every time you open the document the protection system checks the matching of the activation key to hardware parameters on your device, and if the confirmation is successful, the system allows you to open the document.

PDF and eDocument protection

How can I protect files in the formats that are not supported by the service, for example DJVU or TXT?

SF Content provides protection for PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, RTF, JPG / JPEG, PNG, and GIF files. If you want to protect your file in some other file format, please convert it into the supported one, for example, PDF.

Why do protected files become so "heavy" after protection?

The size of the files does not change much in the protection process. An archive with protected files turns "heavy" because the viewer program is included in this archive. Use the variant without the viewer if the size is critical.

Does the service support a video playback in the protected PDF files?

Unfortunately the service doesn’t support video playback in PDF files. But you can protect video separately in another project. If you need a combined protection please contact sales.

Where can I get a special viewer program to view my protected document?

StarForce Reader for Windows you can download here. For macOS please download StarForce Reader here. For Android mobile devices please download StarForce Reader from Google Play. For iPhones and iPads download StarForce Reader from App Store.

What StarForce Reader can do?

StarForce Reader can open usual PDF and ePub files. You can read more about StarForce Reader for Windows , StarForce Reader for macOS , StarForce Reader for Android and StarForce Reader for iOS in special Education articles.

Do I need administrator privileges to install the viewer program on my PC?

It depends on the way how the protection is performed. If the viewer is enclosed in the archive with the documents the program does not require installation and runs directly from the folder with the protected documents. But if the viewer is provided as a link then you could need administrative rights for the program installation.

What user devices can be used to open the protected documents?

Currently StarForce Development department is working hard to provide mobile access for users. For now, our service supports Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Can an end user print a protected document?

A user can print a protected document only if this option was selected while generation of the serial number in the section "Advanced Options".

Attention! When printing is enabled, the protected documents can be printed on paper as well as to a file.

How does the protection against taking screenshots work?

Windows (x86, x64) – the system prohibits regular and third party applications to make a screen shot while StarForce Reader is running. This is provided by the technology "Black Box", which displays a picture with a solid black fill instead of a screen copy. By default, StarForce Reader does not start with open applications that can make a screenshot. You can enable such apps when you configure or change the serial number settings in the project.

Android and iOS - StarForce Reader when making the first screenshot warns that the document will be blocked for 24 hours, after the second screenshot, access to the document is blocked for a day. The lock is synchronized with the serial number management server, so the clock changing on the device will not help speed up the return of access.

macOS – you cannot open a protected document when running applications that allow you to take a screenshot. Also, the protected document will be automatically closed when trying to run such programs.

Detailed information about all protection methods against screen grabbing learn here.

What will happen if I send a protected document to computers running Linux? Will it remain protected?

Unfortunately, Linux users will not be able to open a protected document, but it will remain protected. In this case, we recommend you to use Wine or other systems to work with Windows-based applications.

When I try to open a protected document, the viewer program throws an error "This program can not run while process ONENOTEM.EXE (Microsoft OneNote) is executing. Close this process and restart application". What should I do?

Running of OneNote along with protected files is prohibited, because StarForce Content provides protection against grabbers (programs to capture videos or screenshots from the screen).

In this case, you should disable Microsoft OneNote, which allows you to make a screen capture, to launch the viewer program.

How to close Microsoft OneNote:

1. Open the area by clicking on the icon in the shape of a triangle in the lower right corner of the taskbar.

2. Select the Microsoft OneNote icon in the expanded list (purple letter "N").

3. Right-click on the Microsoft OneNote icon and select "Close".

Audio and Video protection

What to do if I want to adjust watermarks on my own way?

You need to use protection via Protection Studio. Please contact sales to open a test account.

Can I edit my video and audio files?

Our service doesn't have tools for audio and video editing.

What devices can be used for protected audio listening and video watching?

For now only a PC with Windows OS can be used for audio listening and video watching

Do end users need administrative privileges to install StarForce Video Player?

For the player running an end user doesn't need administrative privileges. But for before the first running it is necessary to install StarForce driver and that demands administrative privileges.

HTML document protection

How HTML protection is performed?

We use HTML Executable to convert HTML files to an executable file and protect it with the StarForce technologies.

Can I change the language of the menu in a protected file?

No, the system supports only English for the file menu. You can remove a tick from “Show menu” on the third step of protection. In this case the menu will not be displayed.

When I run a protected file for the first time there is a notification that this file is from an unknown publisher. Is it possible to correct it?

This notification is displayed because after HTML conversion you get an executable file, a program that needs to be signed with a digital signature. You can sign it by yourself if you have this kind of signature or contact us. We need to check you content and if everything is ok we can sign it.

Test project

Is it possible to use protected files when trial period is over?

During trial period you can use only test Serial Numbers with 15 day validity. It means that files can be opened only for 15 days after Serial Number activation.

Can I convert my test project to a full one?

Yes, you can. After license purchasing you need to activate it and the system offers to choose between a new project and a test project upgrading.

What is the difference between a test project and а full project?

You can use only test Serial Numbers that are valid for 15 days in the test project. In the full project the validity of Serial Numbers is unlimited by default.

Is activation report available for test project?

Unfortunately it is not available. Activation report is generated only after the activation of release serial numbers.

Serial Numbers

Do end users need internet connection to activate a Serial Number?

Internet connection allows you to activate a Serial number easy and quickly, but you can activate your Serial Number without it too.

More details you can find here: https://proactive.star-force.com/2.0/userinfo.php?lang=en.

In addition, we recommend you to consider an option of binding to a disk (StarForce Content PDF Disc). It does not require any Internet connection.

More details you can find here: http://www.star-force.com/solutions/product/starforce-content/.

Can any user access a protected file on the computer, or only users with a Windows user account for which access has been activated?

Only a user with a user account for which access to a protected file has been activated can access the file. If the computer is used by several users, every user should activate his or her access separately.

What is the difference between a test Serial Number and a release Serial Number?

A test Serial Number is used for the testing of the protection system by a publisher. Its validity is 15 days. A release Serial Number is for an end-user. Its validity is unlimited by default.

Can I purchase release Serial Numbers in the test project?

Unfortunately, you can’t. You can purchase release Serial Numbers only for a full project.

How many activations are optimal for a Serial Number?

We recommend you not to set many activations, as its number can be increased by editing the Serial Number at any time by the request of an end user. Thus, for example, you can set two activations for the documents to be used less than one year, and three activations for the files to be used for one year and more. This number is optimal because an end user has an opportunity to view the protected files on different PCs, for example, at home and at work and to have an access to this document even after his PC replacement.

Can I edit the parameters of generated Serial Numbers?

Of course, you can. It is possible to change the parameters of Serial Numbers separately or in a batch here: https://www.sfcontent.com/en/PersonalOffice/ManagementAndReports/Edit. If this function is disabled in your project, please contact our Sales department: sales@star-force.com or your personal manager.

Can I revoke an activated Serial Numbers?

If a Serial Number was already activated and the options "Serial Number expiration date" and "Periodic license confirmation" were not selected during the generation, it cannot be revoked.

What is the periodic license confirmation?

Periodic license confirmation allows the protected file contact with the server for comparison and/or update the license parameters.

The feature is necessary in two cases:

1. To block access to the protected file. The publisher can add the serial number of unscrupulous user to the blacklist in case of violation of the conditions of use of the license.

2. To change license parameters. The publisher can change the license parameters for the protected file in the personal account, which will be updated on the user device after the next automatic license confirmation.

Where can I find the list of generated Serial Numbers?

Go to “My Account”, select “Reports and Management”, click “List of Serial Numbers”. Please choose a batch with Serial Numbers identifying it by date or quantity.

Is it possible to export the list of the Serial Numbers to Excel or another app?

The Serial Numbers can be exported to TXT file. You can do it immediately after the generation and from the list of the generated Serial Numbers.

I have activated several serial numbers but cannot see my activation report. Why?

Activation report is generated only after the activation of release serial numbers. If you have a test project and test serial numbers an activation report is not available for you.

What will happen with the activation if I unilstall StarForce Reader from my device?

It all depends on the operating system. On devices running Windows, you can delete and install the application an unlimited number of times - activation is saved regardless of these operations. On Android, iOS, and macOS devices uninstalling the application will remove the activation (license). You will need one more activation if you will reintall the app. If you want to transfer activation from one device to another, you can use deactivation.

What is a serial number deactivation?

Deactivation is used when an end user needs to replace a device. Firstly he or she deactivates a serial numbers in the primary device and secondly activates it on a new one. This feature is designed to provide access to protected files after the replacement of a PC or a smartphone.  It is switched on for every project by default. The number of deactivations is limited.  If you want to cancel it please contact our support team: support@star-force.com.

Additional features

Can I use www.sfcontent.com to sell my content?

We are studying this opportunity and ready to cooperate. You can send your requests to marketing@star-force.com.

Is it possible to deploy the StarForce service locally to protect corporate documents?

Yes, of course. The corporate version of the StarForce Content service has many additional features designed specifically for corporate use. You can send your requests to sales@star-force.com.

StarForce Guide