Take the 2-minute tour ×
Information Security Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Information security professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am at a student at a school which blocks the right click in Windows Explorer and the desktop, as well as on the taskbar. I don't exactly understand why they do this, since most of the commands on the right click menu are also avaliable in the File menu in Explorer (and they don't block that). While I don't mind, many of the not so technical students do since they now don't know how to rename a file, create a folder, copy and paste, etc.

I'm not planning to breach the security in any way (I honestly don't really care if it's disabled or not) but I'm just wondering how this makes the system more secure.

share|improve this question
6  
Disabling right-click annoys users. If you sufficiently annoy attackers, they might go away. –  Thomas Pornin May 10 '13 at 2:24
    
BTW i think that this question has no relavance to "Does disabling right click have any impact on security" since thats more about copyright issues –  d.free May 10 '13 at 21:29
    
@Anonymous how does this have anything to do with copyright issues? –  SteveS May 11 '13 at 20:09
    
I'm in two minds whether to call this question a duplicate of Does disabling right click have any impact on security?. While it's presenting a different scenario, I believe the question still boils down to inquiring about security implications of disabling functions of a mouse button. There are none, as answerers have pointed out, and if functions are to be secured, then preventing a single means of achieving it (out of many) doesn't quite cut it. The rest is then off-topic and a better fit on User Experience. –  TildalWave May 12 '13 at 9:40
    
@SteveS I was saying that blocking right click on WEBPAGES is mainly for copyright issues (they don't want people taking their stuff) while it's a totally different story when its blocked using GP on a computer. –  d.free May 12 '13 at 20:01
add comment

4 Answers

Nope. It makes absolutely zero improvement in security and disables a normally useful feature.

As you're probably well aware, there's a number of shortcuts that work to do all the things you've mentioned like F2 to rename files, Ctrl+C for copy, Ctrl+v for paste.

It does absolutely nothing to prevent keyloggers, screen cappers, viruses/malware etc. To that end, it doesn't even take any kind of steps towards stopping or slowing down malicious behaviour.

share|improve this answer
    
Espeically if no gpo rules have been put in place to disable doing the right menu functions by other means. It merely inconveniences casual users, the computer literate just go ahead and do what they need to do, especially if they're supposed attackers. For the most part, I give the IT dept the mental middle finger and do what I need to get the job done. –  Fiasco Labs Jun 2 '13 at 2:43
    
@FiascoLabs lol, yeah. It annoys legitimate users and makes anyone technically competent want to flip off the IT dep ;) –  NULLZ Jun 2 '13 at 2:54
    
As I explained it once to someone who was having problems with the binary concept, computers are highly digital, meh (0) and the bird (1). So every time your computer deserts you, you've been given 1. –  Fiasco Labs Jun 2 '13 at 3:55
add comment

It is probably more operational than security. If users have less options to change the environment (accidentally hide the taskbar, etc.) it could result in less support calls. If everything is in a known predictable arrangement on the system it also makes troubleshooting easier.

share|improve this answer
add comment

People speaking in absolutes about how this doesn't do a darn thing security-wise are missing part of the picture. Context menus are dynamically driven based on whatever you happen to be clicking on as well as the current state of the system. In most cases context menus are disabled because a good portion of the functionality provided within them is disabled. Right click > Properties: "Alert! You don't have permissions to do xyz" is an awful experience.

In most cases (I can't speak to your particular case because I don't know the details), the context menu is disabled because most or all of the actions within are denied via things like AD group policy. Given that you're talking about school computers, I'm guessing the admins don't want any personalization whatsoever so they disabled modifications.

The disabling of the context menu may simply be a side effect of a larger security policy.

The assumption here though is that they are actually disabling some of the underlying actions, not just the context menus.

Then again, it may not even be a security measure at all. It may simply be removed as an attempt to reduce the confusion of a non-tech savvy user.

Operative word being "attempt" of course... as you mentioned it frustrates such users.

share|improve this answer
add comment

This is mainly done as a "global" thing for IE not to take away the normal right click menu things like you get in the file menu in Explorer, but to stop the user from right click in the address bar and other areas and being able to change global IE settings (e.g., security settings).

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.