How to Protect Your Images from Theft

How to Protect Your Images from Theft

Rodger Davies

If you have a successful website, chances are that people are not only going to be trying to steal your written content, but they will also be trying to steal your images too! This can hurt your site as it can put additional strain on your server through hotlinking, it means you are not getting the credit you deserve for your own hard work, and finally, this also means that you could be losing out on a lot of potential revenue. Here, we are taking you through the top ways in which you can protect the images on your WordPress website from theft.

Watermarking Your Images

One of the most popular ways to prevent people stealing your images is by placing a watermark on them. Using a watermark allows you to add a logo or text over your images and people will not be able to use them without everyone knowing that they have been stolen from you. You will want to make sure that you make your watermark quite noticeable in order to discourage potential thieves and this method is particularly useful for commercial images. For example, you will want to add watermarks to photography in your portfolio. However, watermarking is not always the best option if, for example you are adding images to a blog. You could potentially use a small watermark in the corner, although this could be cropped out. If you are making money from your images, then watermarks are probably your best option.

Disabling Hotlinking

If you are not already familiar with hotlinking, this is essentially when you link directly to another website’s images and this can use a lot of the host’s bandwidth too. However, what’s good is that is you can disable hotlinking simply by making some adjustments to your WordPress core files. You will need FTP access to do this and then you can head on over to the .htaccess file under public_html directory. You can right click on the .htaccess file and then click on the View/Edit button. You can then makes changes through your default local text editor and add in code to the file. Replace the placeholder with the site URL. Then replace the URL with a link to the image that you want to show up when people try to hotlink images from your website.

Copyright Notice

Finally, the last option that you have is to create a copyright notice. So, if you see someone using your stolen images on their site, you can contact them and ask them to remove your images. If they don’t, you can then file an abuse complaint through the web hosting provider and you can then file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown which will pressure web owners to take down the content and you can also request that Google do the same.

Rodger Davies

Author Rodger Davies

Rodger spent ten years working in-house for a global chemical manufacturer, in roles across marketing, design and web project management. Since starting work with Elementary in 2017, he has worked with a wide range of clients from various sectors.

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