How To Protect Images You Post Online From Image Theft

protect image from theft with a watermark
Protect image from theft with a watermark

More than 80% of the images uploaded and posted on the internet are stolen or used without permission from their photographers or owners. With the popularity and fast growing improvement of the Internet, it is very easy for users to download, copy, use, and redistribution.

We will have a look at different ways you can use to protect your assets from theft, but first we need to know how to find your stolen images.

How to Find Stolen Images

The first thing you need to know is that not all people have intention to steal your images. Sometimes many bloggers or publishers don’t know what they have done wrong. They don’t know that they cannot use your images in the blog posts, presentations, documents, and other materials. They also don’t know that they have to ask for your permission or leave a credit to the original creators.

You can find your images used by someone else in various ways. Here are a few ways you can try.

1. Stumble Across It

Although it sounds unusual but sometimes you can stumble across your stolen images. The more content you post online and the more images you share, the more often you can find your images online, especially your best images. The image can be in Google Image search, an online article, a social media post. Sometimes you can find your image in banners or advertisements.

2. Reverse Image Search

There are several online tools that you can use to search for the stolen images. You can try TinEye, PicSearch, Google Image Search, Bing Search.

TinEye is the first image search engine that helps you websites that copy your images. You can upload or drag and drop your images to start your search. You can also use an URL to start the reverse image search. The tool will crawls the web and find your stolen images.

You can also use PicSearch, Google or Bing Image search to find your images. Some websites will not change your file name, so it is easier for you to use the name to search. PicSearch is not so pupolar now. Google and Bing are still the leading search engines.

3. Use a Backlink Monitoring Tool to Find Your Image

You can use a backlink monitoring tool to find your images. There are many tools out there like Ahrefs, Spyfu, Semrush. They are all leaders in the industry.

You can use the tools to check whether sites leave a link in the stolen image or not. This is called “hotlinking”. Hotlinking means that a website will display an image that is linked from another source/image hosting. The link will get all the data whenever the page is loaded or the image is requested for access.

How to Protect Images From Theft

Now we will explore some ways to help you prevent your image from theft.

1: Never Upload Your Photos in High-Resolution

There are several research and studies that have shown an interesting fact. The most stolen images are often high-resolution images (Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels). If you want to protect your images, try to avoid uploading high resolution images. The thieves will not want to steal your images.

Besides, you can try to resize or reduce the image quality before uploading. Some low-resolution images will not look good on high-resolution screens. And this will demotivate thieves.

2: Clearly State that Your Images Are Copyrighted

Another method you can combine with other strategies is to clearly state that your images are copyrighted on your website and social media accounts.You can also mention the licenses of your images and include some warnings if people violate the licenses. You can clearly mention that illegal use of your photos will lead to serious fines

Although this statement will not fully protect your pictures from theft, but it will make some people worry about using your images without your consent.

3: Include the Copyright Owner and Source in the Image Itself

You can mention on your website that they must credit to you or leave a link to your original source if you plan to make some photos free to use. Actually it can be a good marketing strategy for you.

However, you can also include information about your copyright owner and source in the images. Despite the fact that the information can be easily cropped out, but you should do that if you don’t worry about the quality of your images. If your clients and people want to use your original photos, they should contact you to purchase the premium or high-resolution photos.

This will lead to our next method: watermarking your images.

4: Protect Your Images with a Watermark

You can make a watermark and add it to the images before uploading to the web. You can find some tutorials on the web on how to do it. Here on Watermarkup, we also create some tutorials for you to add watermark to your pictures.

You can use our application to add watermark to many pictures at the same time. That will save you a lot of time and energy.

Many potential thieves will not want to use watermarked images for their personal and commercial purposes. So watermarking your images can be a good strategy for you. And please make sure that your watermark is not easily removed by choosing a proper position.

5: Overlay Your Image with a Transparent File

Another method is to put a transparent file over your image. The file has the same format with your image. This way will prevent image thieves from downloading your photos by right-clicking or to copy or open the images in new tabs to save to their computers. This method also works if you know HTML.

However, some image thieves still can download your images by using some software that can scrapes all the images from your websites. And they can also find the screenshots of the images via Google Image Search.

6: Block Right-Click Functionality

Blocking right-click option is a useful way to prevent your images from being stolen by users. When you don’t allow this feature on your website, users will find it extremely difficult to save your images.

If you are using a WordPress website, there are many plugins to help you do that quickly and effortlessly.

However, this method has its downsides. Other useful options will not be available when you disable this features. And some users still take screenshots to capture your images.

Although it is not a perfect way to protect your images from theft. But it is still worth-trying.

7: Use Plug-Ins to Stop Screenshots

As we mentioned earlier, some users still can find ways to steal your photos. And there is an easy way to do it. That is to take screenshots of your pictures. However, you can try some plugins to disable it or prevent a page from being taken screenshots.

If you are using WordPress websites, you can find some plugins for it. One example of this is the No Right Click image plugin from WordPress. The plugin will disable taking a screenshot of your image.

But if you upload your photos other websites and platforms, this way can’t help you protect your photos.

8: Upload Your Images Part-By-Part

There is another intelligent way to protect your images. That is to upload your images part-by-part. Some call it “section-by-section”. It means that thieves cannot download immediately. They have to download each part of your image and join the parts into an original image.

Some thieves will find it difficult and don’t want to pursue stealing your photos. But the downside of this way is that Google may not index or show your images in its Seach Results. And this downside can lead to a decline in your traffic, and maybe the sales.

(to be continued, we are updating this article)

Summary

It is obvious that you should protect your images on your website. If you have already invested a large amount of work, energy, and money in your images, you should find ways to protect them too. We expect that now you have understand several ways to protect your images.

What has been your experience with your photos being stolen? Feel free to discuss with us or let us know.

If you liked this article, we really appreciate if you can share it with anyone who needs it. We will fight against image theft together.

How to Upgrade Your Watermarkup Account to Pro Membership

When you choose to upgrade your Watermarkup account to pro membership, you can choose to pay us via Paypal or Credit or Debit cards. We accept both ways.

First, you need to have a free account, if you haven’t had a Watermarkup account, you can register here.

But make sure that the email you use to register is yours, otherwise you cannot activate your account.

After you have got a free account, you can go to https://watermarkup.com/pricing.html to choose to upgrade. From here, simply choose the option below the Pro column.

Select to upgrade
Choose the “Select option” in the Pro column

After that, you will be taken to the Cart page. Then you choose “Proceed to checkout” to continue the purchase.

Click to continue the upgrade
Click to continue the upgrade

Please note that we accept both Credit/Debit Card and Paypal to receive your payment. You will be redirected to the Paypal website.

paypal
Paypal login form

There will be a login form for Paypal users. If you have already had a Paypal account, you can simply sign in and complete the upgrade.

If you don’t have a Paypal account and want to save time by not registering a Paypal account, you can choose “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” right below the login form.

 

paypal
Choose Debit or Credit Card

Then there will be another page for you to fill in your information and you can complete the upgrade. Please note that all your information is safe and secure.

After you complete the transaction, you will be taken to the watermark application and you can use your pro features.

If you have any other problems, feel free to message us at [email protected]

 

How to Find a Watermark on an Image

a Watermarked image
a watermarked image

You are planning to use images from the Internet for your project, and you don’t know whether the images are watermarked or not. Many photographers or creators don’t want other people to use their images without their permission. Some creators will give the images for free, but many won’t. To avoid copyright issues, you should know about the owners of the images you are using. After that, you can contact them to ask for the use and their permission. Some will allow you, but others will require you to pay to use their assets.

Many people add watermarks to their photos to protect them from theft. 

But you need to know that there are two main digital watermarks people often use to add to their photos. They are visible and invisible watermarks.

How to find a visible watermark on an image

Visible watermark

visible watermark
visible watermark

A visible watermark is often a logo, signature, or a piece of text. Some photographers and companies use their logos as their watermarks. They can reduce the opacity of the logo to make it more transparent and look better with the photos. Other people can design and add text to the photos. They can add their addresses, websites, links, phone numbers to their images and documents. A large number of people will use their signatures as the watermarks, especially professional photographers. 

We call it “visible watermarks” because the watermarks are easily seen by human eyes. We can easily detect them on any images or documents. 

First, you need to know that the places people often choose to watermark their photos. Many people like the bottom right corner of the image. Others like the bottom left corner. But many people can choose different places because it will depend on the content and images themselves.

You will need an image editor, browser, or software to view the image first. There are many image types: PNG, JPEG, GIF, TIFF…, and not all applications can display special image types.

 After that, when you look at the places we mentioned or any other areas on the image, if you find any logos or sentences, words, they are the watermarks. Many owners will make the text or logo more transparent, so sometimes you need to zoom the image to find the watermarks. 

Invisible watermark

Invisible watermarks are harder to find and not easily seen by our human eyes. The invisible watermarks are not logos or signatures, and we cannot zoom the image to detect them. To find the kind of watermark, you need to use special software or applications. 

Many companies create that kind of software for you to use. You can try to search for more information on the Internet, and you can find the right software for you.

Some software will allow you to add invisible watermarks to your photos and detect them as well. 

But this kind of watermark is not so popular, and you can always find the visible watermarks easier on most images. 

Should I Sell Digitals with a Watermark?

sell photos online
sell photos online

In the 21st century, technology is more and more advanced and plays an important part in our lives. Thanks to the Internet, now we can connect with friends around the world via social media platforms. We can read news and watch videos for free. We can also have opportunities to create online stores to sell your products to other people that are far from your place.

If you are selling online, the initial things, that you need to have, are products and photos of your products. But in this digital era, other people can easily steal your photos and use them for their stores. 

To protect your hard work and not let other people use your photos without your consent, sometimes you wonder whether you should watermark your digitals or not.

Should I sell digitals with a watermark?

The answer is Yes. Many online stores and sellers around the world often face the same problem that their photos or their digital assets are stolen and used for other purposes. 

If you go online and visit many forums related to eCommerce, online selling platforms, and social media places, you will see a lot of complaints from many sellers. If you sell your products on Etsy, you can see that many product photos of Etsy sellers are stolen. It is not a new thing.

To prevent the situation, you should watermark all your product photos before posting on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Watermarking your digital assets is not only a good way to protect your assets but also a powerful marketing tool for your company and brand. 

Many shops and online sellers often add watermarks to their product images to make customers remember their brands easier.

When users and customers share the images, other people will know who created the images and know more about the brands. That is a powerful marketing way and the cost to make the watermarks is really cheap.

You can watermark your product photos or prints or designs and upload them to your online store/platforms. But remember that you shouldn’t upload the original photos or digitals. You should watermark and upload lower resolution versions and keep the high quality and original versions private.

When customers purchase your digital products or photos, at that time you should show and give them the original version you created.

A few things to consider

  1. When you plan to sell digitals on the web, you should always have your own licenses. You can create your own licenses or read other licenses for reference. When you sell photos, designs, arts, and graphics online, licenses are important. They will tell your buyers about what they can do with your products and what they cannot do. The licenses are also your best friends when it comes to copyright protection. Several eCommerce platforms also have their own licenses and before you sell your digital products on the platforms, you should read them carefully.
  2. You should often check whether your digitals or photos are stolen or used without your permission or not. There are many ways to check this. You can use Google Image Search or often visit other stores to check. This habit will help you protect your digital products better.

 

How to Report Stolen Photos on Facebook

How to report stolen photos on Facebook
How to report stolen photos on Facebook

Nowadays, many people complain that their images on Facebook are stolen and used for other purposes. 

Stealing photos are one of the main problems users have to deal with while using Facebook. Many content thieves are willing to take your images and use them for their profiles. 

But Facebook and other social media platforms also have solutions to solve these problems and they will take any actions to remove the stolen photos. They will even ban the accounts that will steal other images. 

Facebook and other social media platforms have their policies that are related to copyright and privacy. They have always helped you if you need something to report and their support team can help you if you contact them directly. 

How to report the stolen photos on Facebook

You need to follow the steps below to report to Facebook that your images were stolen. 

  1. Find the photos on their Timelines or in their “Photos” section.
  2. You need to click on the post or the photo to make a pop-up appear. The popup will show the post, photos, and comments.
  3. From here, you can click on “Options”. It is near the “Tag photo” and “Send in Messenger”. You can find the options at the bottom of the images. The options are also near “Like”, “Comment”, “Share”.
  4. You choose “Find support” or “Report Photo”. After that, you can continue the steps to report the stolen photos to Facebook and they will take some actions and notify you later.

You can also try another way to report the violated photos on Facebook by filling a form to contact the Facebook team.

https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/144059062408922?ref=u2u

You can choose “Photo” for the first question, “Other photo” or “Profile Picture” for the second question. 

Consider watermarking your photos before posting on Facebook

Image and content theft are now not rare. They can steal your photos and other content without hesitation. 

Another way to protect your photos is by watermarking your photos before posting on Facebook. When you do that image thieves will find it hard to use your images again somewhere else. 

You can use different image editors or watermark software to add text and logo to your photos. Watermarkup is a good online watermarking tool that helps to watermark your photo easily and quickly. The application runs in your web browser, and you don’t need to download or install it. You can use the application for free to watermark multiple photos at the same time.

Don’t post your original images with high quality on Facebook

Because your photos are easily stolen, so it is better if you can reduce the size of the images and keep your high-resolution images private. By doing that, the thieves will not have your original files and if a dispute happens, you will have the rights and proofs to prove that you are the owners of the photos.

If you are worried about the photos you share on Facebook that may be stolen, you had better not share them or only share the photos that are not important. 

Types of Digital Watermarks

Nowadays, online content theft isn’t a new problem with Internet users and creators. People easily download and share digital products like ebooks, videos, and files with their friends. You will never know when other people use your products without your consent. 

Images and photos are in the same situation. Images are one of the most popular file types on the Internet. Photos are very important to modern websites, blogs, desktop, and mobile applications. And creators often use watermarks to protect their copyrights and ownership.

Watermark can be understood as bits that are used to insert into images, documents, videos, and audios. The watermark can include the name, address, website, and information about the creators of the products. 

The importance of watermark

In the digital world, watermark plays an important role in protecting photos and media. A company can watermark their documents as “Confidential” and “Draft” and other employees will know that the documents will only be used for limited purposes. 

Digital watermarks are used for not only protection but also marketing purposes. When the watermark can easily be seen by many people, your company and brand will be known better.

Types of digital watermarks

For image watermarks, there are mainly two types of digital watermarking: visible and invisible watermarks. 

  1. Visible watermark: Visible watermark can be a visible text and logo placed on the original photo. People can make the text and logo more transparent to look good with the photo context. This kind of watermark is often used because other people will easily see the information about the owners of the image. People can use image editors or watermark software to add text, logo, and templates to their photos.
  2. Invisible watermark: Invisible watermark is different. It cannot be seen by human eyes. Only specific software and applications can detect the watermark. 
Visible watermarks
Visible watermarks

Although digital watermarks are often understood as tools to protect copyright, we can use text watermarks for different purposes like adding notifications, descriptions, symbols, and icons. Sometimes people can use watermark software to create even memes and fun photos to share with their friends. 

When to use invisible watermarks

Invisible watermarks are often embedded into the image and only special software can detect them. The watermark is used to prove ownership when a dispute between two parties happens. Because invisible watermarks are hard to see and often used to identify the rightful copyright holder, they are not so popular and not easy to make. 

When to use visible watermark

Visible watermarks are more popular and easily perceived by human eyes. And it is easier to add visible watermarks to photos by using photo editors or watermark software.

People can use visible watermarks to protect their photos better. Because it is visible, other people will know that you are the owner of the photos and they will not dare to steal them.

In our opinion, if you are selling your photos or want to protect your images from theft, you should choose visible watermarks. Visible watermarks are the most popular and will protect your photos better.

If you are looking for watermark software to watermark your photos, you can try Watermarkup. It is a web-based application that you don’t need to download and install anything. It is free and used by many people around the world.

4 Tips to Choose the Right Colors for Your Watermark

choose the right colors for watermark
4 tips to choose the right colors for watermark

When it comes to watermarking your photos, you need to have a logo or it will be easier if you can have a design of how your watermark looks like in your photos. After that, when applying the watermark and logo in each photo, you can easily adjust to make your overall photos look great. 

But with different photos, you may need different colors for your watermark. Because each photo has its unique content and colors. But the key point here is that you should choose the colors that go well with your photos and don’t get too much attention from viewers.

1. Things to remember when choosing the colors for your watermarks

  1. The watermark should not be too obvious to distract the content of the photos. You can change the opacity of the color to make it more transparent. That will not affect much of your photos.
  2. If you have a logo, you can choose the colors of the watermark that are included in the logo. It will create color harmonies for your photos and they will look better.
  3. If you have a website, you can consider choosing the colors from your website to make it go well with the general context.
  4. The colors of watermark sometimes are neutral and not too bright and obvious. The reason is that the watermark will not distract your viewers from the main content of the photos.
  5. You should consider the position and the size of the watermark when choosing the colors. Because the position, size, and colors of the watermark can play big parts on how your watermark looks in the picture.

2. White and its shades are often used as the color for watermark

If you see many photos on the web, you can easily recognize that many photo owners often use white, grey, and shades of the colors to watermark their photos. Of course, choosing the color will be based on the photos themselves.

If your photos are not bright, you can use white, grey, and shades of them as your main color of watermarks.

3. You can have different colors for watermarks

To make it easier for you when watermarking photos, maybe you will need to have different watermarks for different photos. So you can choose different colors for your watermarks.

You can test and choose 2 or 3 best colors you like and they look good in most of your pictures. You should save them for later use because creating watermark again will waste a lot of time and energy.

4. Another way to choose the color for your watermark

There is another way to choose the right color for your watermark. It is observing and seeing how other photographers and photo owners watermark their pictures. 

By seeing and observing what other people are doing, you will find great colors and inspirations for your watermarks. 

You can go to stock photography websites, photo forums, photographer groups on Facebook, social media accounts related to photography and selling images. Especially, you should frequently visit websites and observe people that are selling photos. Because when selling photos, people often watermark their digital assets and reduce the image sizes. You can learn more about choosing the right colors for your watermarks.

Some examples of watermarks

a watermarked image
a watermarked image
watermarked image
watermarked image
watermarked image
watermarked image

If you need an online photo watermarking tool, you can use Watermarkup. It is free and easy to use. You can watermark multiple photos at the same time and don’t have to download anything to install on your computer. All the photo watermarking is processed in your web browser.

Watermarkup is Featured on Lasexta and Other Websites

Watermarkup is featured on Lasexta

In March 2020, our online watermarking tool – Watermarkup is featured on several websites like Tekcrispy and some tech websites. Recently it has been featured on Lasexta.

Lasexta

Lasexta.com has millions of viewers and visitors per month. It is one of the most popular TV channels in Spain. It is mainly a Spanish free-to-air television channel and has also a web version that often provides readers with the latest news and articles.

We are very proud that our application is useful for everyone and recommended by other people.

Here are the screenshots from the Lasexta website:

watermarkup is featured on Lasexta

watermarkup is featured on Lasexta

And here is the English version:

watermarkup is featured on Lasexta

watermarkup is featured on Lasexta

watermarkup is featured on Lasexta

Thank you Lasexta for featuring us. We expect that Watermarkup will be a useful tool for everyone.

Softandapps.info also featured us. Here is the screenshot.

watermarkup is featured on softandapps.info

Right Click and Open image in a new tab to see the full article.

Here is the English version:

softandapps.info featured Watermarkup softandapps.info featured Watermarkup

Our Watermarkup was Featured on Tekcrispy

Watermarkup was featured on Tekcrispy

On March 03, 2020, our watermark application, Watermarkup, was featured on Tekcrispy.

Tekscripsy is a Spanish online media company. They specialize in writing about technology, science, and culture. Almost all the articles were written in Spanish. They were founded in 2016. Thousands of visitors often read their news everday and they also have a strong base of followers on social media platforms.

Here are some screenshots from Tekscrispy (Spanish Version)

watermarkup_spanish_1

watermarkup_spanish_2

watermarkup_spanish_3

watermarkup_spanish_4

And here are the English version of the article: (the translated version)

watermarkup_spanish_5

watermarkup_spanish_6

watermarkup_spanish_7

watermarkup_spanish_8

 

Thank you Tekcrispy for featuring us. We hope that the watermark application will be useful for everyone.

You can find another article written by Lasexta about us here.

How to Prevent Your Website from Image Theft

product photos
 a product photo

In this digital era, nowadays everyone can copy and download images, videos, software from the Internet to their computers. And it is easy to duplicate or replicate the files from one version to many clones. Users can simply copy and paste to achieve the task.

People can steal your images from your website and social media accounts very easily. Some will use them for personal purposes, but unfortunately, many others will use the photos for commercial purposes. Many online stores are complaining that their product images were stolen and used by other shops. You have invested your time and money in the photos and now they are being used by others without your permission.

How people steal images from the web

  1. It is very easy for people to download or save images from the web to their computers and drives. They can simply right-click on the image they want, and they can choose “Save images as…” and the image will be downloaded to their computers. 
  2. Some people will use the web browser to download all the web page. And in the downloaded folders, there will be your photos. They can choose “Save page as…” to do so. 
  3. Many stock photos are now shared on illegal websites and hosting. Users can go there and download them. 
image theft
image theft

How you will be affected if someone steals the assets

  1. First, you will be very angry about that. You invested time and money to take the pictures and bring them to the world. 
  2. If you are selling your products online, your competitors and other online stores will use them for their websites. Customers will be confused because of the same product photos in many stores. Your brand and business will be affected a lot. 
  3. If they are scamming people to get the money, customers will lose their trust and no longer believe in the stores that have the same product photos. 

How to prevent your website from image theft

  1. Disable right-click option on your website. The Right-click option is the simplest way to download and save images from computers and drives. So if you disable this feature, users will find it hard to save your photos. Many CMS platforms are providing their users with many useful tools to disable the option. If you are using WordPress, Shopify, or BigCommerce, many plugins help you do that. You can search in the WordPress plugin store and find some good ones. If you are running custom made websites, you can hire developers to help you do that. 
  2. Adding a copyright notice and the usage permission related to your images. Add an announcement about the permission of your photos will be a good thing to notify your users. If you specify the rights and the limitations of your image usage, they will not dare to steal your images and use them for their purposes.
  3. Watermark your photos. This is a useful way to protect your photos. When they see your watermark and brands, if they save and download, they cannot use them for their websites. Moreover, watermarks are good ways to promote your website and products. There is much software that helps you watermark your photos. Several applications help you add watermark to each photo separately. Other applications help you watermark batches of photos at the same time. 
  4. Never share high-resolution quality images. It is a useful way to protect your photos. Users can only download your compressed versions of your images. And of course, the qualities are not good enough as the original versions. When you own your originals, you still have the right to control what you have.
  5. Add a DMCA notification to your website. This is another way to show your visitors that your website, content, and photos are protected by DMCA. This will discourage thieves from trying to steal your images. 
  6. If you are a photographer and planning to submit your photos to photography websites, you should read carefully the instructions, licenses and what they would do with your images. Do the websites allow users to download your photos for free or low-resolution photos?

In general, it is easier and easier for people to download and save images from the Internet nowadays. But to ensure that your photos will be protected and not be downloaded illegally, you should combine all the above-mentioned ways we suggested in the article.