Shift PrtScr - Screen Dumps and photos of Computer Screens
- One of the traditional "old school" methods of leaks from Police, Government Departments, Banks etc. which used heavily restricted mainframe computer terminals, was to do a "screen dump" to a locally attached (cheap and slow) printer, which would not show up in any network printer queues. Most dedicated terminals have been replaced these days by Terminal Emulation software running on a Personal Computer, but the same trick can often be used, even when the user is not allowed by the heavily audited mainframe legacy or core business system to save files or print copies, they may simply be able to take Windows (or Terminal Emulator scroll history) "screen captures" or "screen dumps" which they can print locally or save as files to removable media like USB memory devices etc.
- See the Windows PrtScr Key (sometimes labelled Print). The keyboard combination of the Ctrl and PrtSc keys together will capture, into the common Windows Cut and Paste buffer, a (.BMP) image of your entire Windows screen. The combination Alt and PrtSc together will do the same for the individual Window which you are focussed on e.g. a Terminal Emulator or Web Browser window. The contents of the Windows Cut and Paste buffer can then be dumped into the graphics capable Write accessory or any Microsoft Office application like Word etc. with Shift and Insert together (or Right Mouse button / Paste)
- It may be necessary to use several screen captures to copy a scrollable page or list from a computer screen.
- In some circumstances, where the system does not have any (whistleblower safe) printers etc. it may be possible to photograph a computer screen displaying whistleblower information, using a digital camera or mobile phone camera.
- Several photos might be needed of the same screen, if the camera speed settings cannot be adjusted, and "video synch" lines" obscure some or all of the monitor screen. Flat panel computer or laptop displays should be easier to photograph.
- Remember to turn off the auto flash setting on your camera or mobile phone, if this might arouse suspicion amongst co-workers or CCTV camera operators etc.