The Internet is a wonderful place to share your content. What you put out on your website can be instantly found by anybody in the world who goes online.

However, that also means anybody can also steal your images from your website  — even if you don’t want them to. I also have experience finding my photo (which I designed from scratch) being blatantly used on somebody else’s site. Without my permission. Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled.

This is called “content theft” and unfortunately happens more often than most of us are aware. Below are a couple of simple things you can do to protect your online images.

Watermark your images

“Watermarking” means adding an extra small or faint text to the main image to protect the original image from being used by others without permission. Here is an example of what I did for one of the images that I purchased from a stock photo service and used in a program.

what is a watermark

Adding subtle text like that can be easily done, using a graphic software like PhotoShop or free online graphic tools like Canva and PicMonkey. Depending on your needs, you may want to superimpose your website URL or anything else that shows that the image belongs to you.

More extensive watermarking is often done by stock image services to prevent people from using their images without making a purchase. Here is an example of a watermarked image that shows publicly on their site. Once you purchase the image, they will let you download the image in better quality without the watermark. (I purchased this particular image and used it to promote a live event in San Diego I did.)

See how it has watermark all over the image?

Stock Photo with Watermark

Stock Photo with Watermark

Stock Photo with Watermark (Circles to enhance watermark)

Stock Photo with Watermark (Circles to enhance watermark)

Purchased Stock Photography without Watermark

Purchased Stock Photography without Watermark

Use a WordPress Plugin to Disable Right-clicking

Since images online can be easily “snagged”; all you need to do is to right-click on the image and choose “save target as” or “save link as” to save it to your computer. And since this is exactly how online thieves often get images, the WordPress community came up with some solutions.

Here are some WordPress plugins that can disable right-clicking. If you have images on your site you want to protect, you may want to consider using one of these:

Although there is no bullet-proof way to protect your website from these content thieves,  use one of these techniques to make it difficult for them to steal and use your content.

If you don’t have a resource for images, check out my 7 top stock photo resources.

Do you have your own method of protecting your online content? If you do, please share!




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