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Blocking Access to Web via Help

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Jeff Ferris

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Posted: 22 Aug 2002

Several questions have been asked about programs that take you to a website when you click on Help. MS Office does this, and Adobe Acrobat lets customers update their product from a built-in web link when ever they want (an administrators nightmare, and Adobe should be shunned because of it).

It may be easier to fix than you think. After installing the program for the first time, check out the registry. Sometimes, the web link for updates and Help are kept in registry keys. What we do is find the keys, and point them either at a site of OUR choosing, or simply blank them out.

You can either do this in the snAppShot so the install is fixed immediately, or do a post-distribution of the registry hack to clear the links from the keys. It's an easy fix.

One comment about this though: Those of us who have to maintain these apps should be making sure we're letting the software manufacturers know this is a bad practice.....

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