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
- 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.
- 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.
- Many stock photos are now shared on illegal websites and hosting. Users can go there and download them.
How you will be affected if someone steals the assets
- First, you will be very angry about that. You invested time and money to take the pictures and bring them to the world.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.