Safe Exam Browser

Developer: ETH Zurich

Current Version: 1.5.2

Last Updated: 3 years ago

Download Size: 731.8 KB - Download


Safe Exam Browser (SEB) is a web browser environment to carry out online exams safely by locking the computer into a kiosk mode. It provides integration with the open source learning management systems ILIAS and Moodle, but can be used with most other web based quizzes or e-assessment systems.

SEB disables the OS X Dock, the process switcher (cmd+Tab/cmd+Shift+Tab), menu bar, the Force Quit window (cmd+opt+esc), normal reboot (ctrl+cmd+eject), normal shutdown (ctrl+opt+cmd+eject), hiding the application, printing and Exposé. Display and system idle sleep are also prevented while SEB is running. It can be set whether users can quit SEB and if it is required to enter a quit password to do so.

In the browser window there is no right mouse (or ctrl-) click popup window available, it can be set whether links requesting to be opened in a separate window should be blocked generally, opened in the same browser window or in a new SEB window. Besides that, the browser is supporting Quicktime, Java and Flash content (as long as the required Flash plugin is installed on the system). Hyperlinks embedded in Javascript, in Flash and other plugins are ignored when they link to another host than the one of the current page.

SEB detects when it was started in a virtual instead of a native environment and refuses to run. This virtual machine detector hinders manipulating SEB when used in unmanaged environments.

In a separate user account managed by OS X parental controls you can run additional (third party) applications during an exam together with SEB. You can download and open files linked in your online exam, edit it in a third party application and then upload the results to your online quiz/LMS again.

Thanks to its safe kiosk mode SEB can also be used in all kind of public presentation situations, where web based content is presented and users should not be able to manipulate the Mac that it is running on.


Release Notes:

• SEB can open additional browser windows now.
• New browser preferences pane where the policy for opening hyperlinks in a new browser window can be set: Block those links generally, open in same window or open in new window. Separate settings are available for normal links and links in JavaScript/plug-ins.
• In addition SEB can optionally ignore links requesting to open in a new window which direct to a different host than the one of the current page.
• Improved integrity of the SEB environment by elevating all SEB windows (including the background covering windows) on a higher window level than regular windows and enhanced suppression of other applications opening alert windows, requesting to become active and switching to foreground.
SEB now blocks the systems screen shot function (in OS X 10.7 Lion), preventing users to save pictures of the browser windows.
• New option to enable or disable browsing back/forward (with cmd + cursor right/left keys). This can prevent users to browse back out of an exam to an unprotected start page.
• New options to enable/disable plug-ins, Java, JavaScript and pop-up windows.
• The clipboard is now cleared when SEB starts and before it quits. But the content of the clipboard (if it's a text string) is saved before SEB clears it, and by pressing a new link button in general preferences pane you can paste that saved string to the Start URL field.
• Added option to prevent full screen invoked by Flash (usually used in Flash video players) when third party applications are allowed. When switching to third party applications is disabled, Flash fullscreen mode is deactivated generally now for security reasons.
• New option in advanced preferences pane to download a PDF file and open it in a third party application instead of viewing it inline.
• Added an option to choose the name and path of a file to be uploaded automatically: If users download a file, edit it in a third party application and save it with the same name at the same path, pressing the "chose file" button in the browser window doesn't present a file requester, instead the file is automatically chosen.


Most Helpful Reviews

Version 1.2.1
Review by Jer2454

Perfect for lock down - This software is perfect for having a locked down browswer! We use it for certain kiosks in our library.

Found helpful by 2 out of 4 people