Strap's security concept

Since Strap is an application and has access to the hard-disk, users may be worried about losing data and program settings.

Restriction of file modification

The open-source program Strap has been carefully programmed to prevent any damage. A file is modified, created or deleted by Strap only if the file is within the project directory or if the file path contains the text pattern "strapalign". This restriction prevents data from being damaged by erroneous code in Strap. It is implemented in a particular program part where all file modifications are performed. This security check does not work for file access of embedded programs such as ClustalW (see below).

External programs

Strap uses a number of other programs such as ClustalW. The user may not trust certain programs used by Strap since they can directly access the file system. For each program, users can decide whether it is started or not if the respective check-box in Preferences > Security is activated. The user is asked before external programs such as ClustalW are run. If the user does not trust this particular program, execution can be denied.

Strap does not change configurations


If the check-box "Upload data without asking" in Preferences > Security is deactivated, Strap uploads data to Bioinformatics servers only after requesting permission from the user.

Still worried about running Strap?

One option is to set up a virtual PC with VirtualBox.

Other methods depend on the operation system:
Windows Windows     Macintosh Mac Unix/Linux Linux    
Sandboxie is a safe environment to run untrusted software on Windows PC. Sandboxie is easy to install and allows to start STRAP or any other program from a sandboxed web browser. Summary: Create an extra user account for testing untrusted software. Login as this user and run Strap.
  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click User Accounts.
  2. If some settings are dimmed, click the lock icon and type an administrator name and password.
  3. Click Add (+) and type the user's name.
Starting a program as the new user:
  1. First open the Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal).
  2. In the terminal type
     su theUser
    Enter the password for this user.
Now you can start programs like the browser or start Strap
open -a Safari
Nothing you do as the different user can harm your data.
  1. Create an extra user account for testing untrusted software.
  2. First open the Terminal
  3. Login as this user. Type:
    su theUser
  4. Run Strap.