Help / How to secure your online examinations

Using the Safe Exam Browser with FlexiQuiz to secure your examinations

Lady successfully completing her online exam

There's not better feeling than passing an online quiz based on your own hard work and knowledge instead of finding a loophole in the system. While educators want to ensure that everyone is on the same playing field and the online tests will accurately measure a students capabilities and levels of understanding.

As we know, online examinations are becoming more popular as they're a safe, engaging, and efficient way of testing student's abilities. The current social distancing rules mean that students cannot always be in the same place for examinations, so how can you maintain and maximize your tests' security?

FlexiQuiz already offers several features to minimize cheating, such as the question bank, randomizing questions, password protection, and more.

However, we've recently discovered Safe Exam Browser (SEB), a free web-based application that can work with FlexiQuiz to provide alternative security options. For example, SEB can prevent students from opening other windows, disables spell check, or filter URLs. You can use SEB along with existing FlexiQuiz security measures to provide added protection for your online quizzes.

What is SEB?

SEB is a customized web browser that must be downloaded and installed on the student's device to attempt the online examination. As SEB is running on the student's computer or laptop, it can be more effective at restricting their actions based on the settings you've selected. For example:

  • The browser window won't have a URL or search field, and the back/ forward reload and navigation can be disabled.
  • The clipboard is cleared when starting and closing SEB.
  • Spell checking and the dictionary lookup can be allowed or disabled.
  • The browser context menu can be disabled.
  • Switching to other applications is disabled by default, but you can select specific third-party applications that the student can access during the quiz.
  • Shortcut keys such as Win+Tab, Ctrl+Alt, Alt+F4, Alt+Tab, print screen.
  • Specific web sites/ resources/ pages can be configured to be accessible during an exam, using a URL filter.

SEB is released as freeware, and the source code is provided under a Mozilla Public License. The application is available for iOS, Windows, and macOS as open-source software.

Setting up secure quizzes with SEB

You can create and configure your examinations using FlexiQuiz in the usual way - there are no added restrictions for adding media, branding, or customization.

However, the quiz needs to be shared with students using a SEB file. If you share the test using an email invite or assigning it to a respondent account, the SEB settings won't be applied.

You can quickly generate the SEB file by downloading and using the Safe Exam Builder Configuration tools. This guide shares the latest SEB developments and instructions for use.

These are the steps that I took to share a FlexiQuiz test with SEB settings.

To begin, I created and configured a quiz in the usual way. Depending on your plan, there are no restrictions on the FlexiQuiz create and configuration options selected.

  1. Once you've built the quiz on FlexiQuiz, go to the Publish tab. Select the quiz link option and copy the quiz URL.

    The quiz is now ready to be configured within the SEB tool. I followed these steps to set the rules and share the quiz.

  2. Download the Safe Exam Browser..
  3. Under the General tab, next to Start URL, paste the FlexiQuiz quiz URL.
  4. From the Config File tab, select any predefined settings such as starting an exam.

    Top Tip! Most of the SEB settings can be adjusted based on your security requirements. This guide shows you the SEB configuration options.

  5. I also created a password for students to enter for gaining access to your quiz. This option is available under the Config File tab.

    Once you're ready to share the quiz:

  6. Save the SEB file.
  7. Email the SEB file to students for access to the quiz. There is no need to share the FlexiQuiz URL with test-takers.

All results will be tracked on the FlexiQuiz Analyze screen.

The test takers experience

For quiz takers to access the SEB file, they will need to download the Safe Exam Browser to their own computer or laptop (it's not yet compatible with mobiles). SEB can be downloaded using the file that you share with them - further documentation on how the Safe Exam Browser can be downloaded can be found here.

Any quiz generated on will look and work exactly the same completing the test on our site directly. The only differences are the security settings you've selected on SEB.

If you've set up email notifications, students will continue to receive these directly from FlexiQuiz.

The Safe Exam Browser can't be closed until the exam has been completed.


SEB is a great free tool to add some additional security to your tests created on FlexiQuiz.

Download and try SEB for yourself. Happy quiz making!