Preventive Measures for Image & Content Theft

Having an online presence is not an easy endeavour. The amount of effort that goes into coming up with quality content and imagery can be A LOT. That’s why at times it can be disheartening that someone is stealing your content or image.

But, don’t worry. There are ways to combat the issue of image and content theft effectively.

I have written about concerns with privacy in digital marketing before and I feel that we are heading into a big shift in Privacy handling. Thanks to Apple spearheading the change, now Google and a host of other big tech companies are heading down a privacy-first rabbit hole. We are all along for the ride.

Here’s how you can go about it:

Measures for Image Protection


Using a Watermark 

This is possibly the easiest and the strongest way to protect images from being stolen online. All you have to do is place a visible watermark suggesting copyright anywhere on the image. You can go with myriad forms of watermark styles. For instance, you can put up a symbol, date, name of the image owner, etc. You can either place it across the image or in one small corner.


Remember – With watermarks, there’s a tradeoff that happens. For protection, you’re also compromising on the quality of the image for the sign can often acts as a visual distraction.

Digital copycats

Using Low Resolution to Protect Image

Another excellent trick to discourage downloading of images is to go with low-resolution photographs. Aim for a 550 pixel at 72 dpi. This is supposed to be a good sizing for images meant for internet usage. 

There’s not much to work with images this size other than viewing them in a browser. In any other application, the image will look distorted and horrible.

Using Tables to Prevent Downloads

Most users will right-click the image as a quick way to save, copy, or find the image. If you happen to have your own website, you can prevent this by using a fairly simple CSS code that puts the image as a background in the table.

Here’s the code to disable/prevent this action:

disable cope snippet

Disabling the Right Click Option

Another method to prevent the right-clicking of the mouse and selecting the ‘save image as’ option is to simply disable this option for all your images.

But, how can you do it?

You can use plugins to do it such as Envira Gallery Lite


Include Copyright Notices

A copyright notice is another thing that websites can use to scare people from downloading your image and using it for free. It’s just a warning that stealing an image could result in a lawsuit and that they’re about to commit a serious offense. While it won’t always discourage everyone – it will work on those with honest intentions.

You can do this by adding a copyright disclaimer inside the footer file with the help of an HTML tag that needs updating every year.

content theft online

Preventing Content Theft

Another thing that many website owners fear is getting their content copied and published elsewhere without their permission. Legally, only a few excerpts and headlines are allowed for copying. But, stealing an entire article can be a cause for grave concern.

To protect website content from copying, you can try a bunch of methods, such as:

Feed Delay Plugin

A common issue that bloggers face as soon as they publish a postpost is that it gets scraped by the robots and gets added elsewhere without any attribution links. It will index the content before your own content is indexed. Result? Search engines will think that your content is the duplicate one and it might impact your SEO campaign. And, your page will rank below the page that stole the content.

This can be disheartening.

As a fix, you can use the Feed Delay plugin. It avoids scraping the content by delaying the post from being added to the RSS feed for some time. The timing can be adjusted based on when the content is indexed by search engines.

Get a CC License

Obtaining a CC license (Creative Common) to safeguard the content on your site is a simple yet effective method. It is not time-consuming either. It’s a copyright licensing service the purpose of which is to inform the rightful content owner any time their content gets plagiarized by someone else. It’s a free service and an excellent one against online content fraud. Only someone who gives credit to your content will be able to use it.

DMCA Warning

This is one scary warning. The DMCA service aims to safeguard the content on any site against any malpractices. Right from the very first paragraph, those with bad intentions will get a fair warning. You can think of it as copyright protection for web content.

Track Scrapers

Although you can use a myriad plugin that will inform you any time your content gets copied you can also use Google Alerts for the same purpose. This will tell you any time a sequence of your content is copied. One more way in which you can do that is to use a plagiarism scanner. One of the highly recommended tools for tracking scapers is – copyscape.

protection measures shield your business

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are multiple ways to protect your content and images from being stolen. In the end, it depends on which formula/tool works best for you. Remember, even with all the best measures, many will still find a way to work their way around those safety measures.

When nothing else works, you can always file a DMCA complaint.

There are some things competitors can never copy if you have competitors copying your work.

  • Your voice
  • Your brand
  • Video content
  • Audio content
  • Trademarks

If you want to be a step ahead of competitors you can double down on the above points. This makes it even harder for someone to copycat your work.

Going in front of the camera with video content proves you are a human, gives you authority for speaking about your subject matter and provides authenticity that your business is real. That’s really hard to mimic.

Creating a brand is always a good choice to build something worth following and making people come to you.

Using your voice to start a podcast, get interviewed, do call shows and be heard. Your voice in business helps forge an identity.

Having a trademark helps to protect your assets and even your IP. Google Ads is extremely responsive to any trademark infringement on its advertising platform. If you have a trademarked term and someone else is bidding on that term you can seek assistance from Google in having that advert taken down.

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