What will you do when you see your content (blog posts and images) on another website? Of course, this is one of the most frustrating things that happens to any blogger or artist, and the more successful you are, the more it happens.
The most common issue faced by WordPress publishers is Image Theft. It is so easy to download and copy the images from other websites that it rarely crosses the mind of novice users that they are stealing someone else’s assets without their permission.
Running a WordPress website with unique content, including blog posts, articles, and images, can boost the visibility of your online presence on the web. Therefore, it is essential for you to take some serious (but easy) measures that can help you deal with Image Theft in WordPress. In fact, any online store, photography site or portfolio-based websites should protect their creative art and images from such theft.
Fortunately, there are some proven tactics that will protect your WordPress site’s images from being poached. These tips not only protect the ownership of your images but also give you a sense of relief.
So, let’s get started.
1. Watermark your WordPress Images
You can protect your images by adding textual watermark with your site’s logo or blog title over it. The technique will help you in stopping people from cloning your images for their personal use.
Although there are multiple of tools such as Photoshop or Fireworks that will help you add the watermark manually on your images, use the Image Watermark plugin to make your job easier.
The plugin lets you automatically watermark images that are uploaded to your WordPress Media Library. In fact, you can also perform bulk watermarking practice with your previously uploaded images.
The best thing about this plugin is that it offers an intuitive user interface – just enter your WP Settings tab > click on the added watermark icon > complete the simple settings (such as the text, position, size, etc.) and you are done with your watermark images.
2. You can add a Copyright Notice
Insert a copyright notice to your WordPress site if you want to restrict people from stealing your images. A copyright notice can make novice users realize that they are doing something illegal and should not download the images from your site.
Luckily, WordPress comes with a host of themes with built-in copyright notice right in the footer. If there is no support found for default copyright notice, you can add the following coding to your theme’s footer file either in plain text or HTML:
< ?php $the_year = date(“Y”); echo $the_year; ? >
< ?php bloginfo(‘url’); ? >
All Rights Reserved.
Note: The name of your site and the current year can be filled and updated automatically.
I would also recommend you to display the eye-catchy copyright notice in your webpage sidebar using the “text widget” with the textual content.
3. Hotlinking protection
If someone is hotlinking your site, it means they not only copy your images but also steal your bandwidth. So make sure that you disable hotlinking from your site. Although it won’t stop people from downloading your images, it will restrict them from adding that image on their site by linking out to your site.
For this, you need to edit your .htaccess file. Fortunately, there are many WordPress plugins that can disable hotlinking from your site in minutes. You can also ask for the assistance of your web hosting provider. But make sure that they offer the best Hotlink Protection Service.
4. Disable ‘Right-Click’ option
Right-click option on an image allows users to download and save images quickly and easily. So, you must disable this function if you want to avoid image theft. This technique makes more challenging for a newbie to steal your images, but it also frustrates legitimate visitors that want to see your image full size, or want to use right-click for other legitimate purposes.
To disable the right-click, you need to install the most relevant plugin for WordPress that can help you achieve the same purpose with ease. After disabling the option, the user won’t be able to steal your images via right-click option.
5. Use DMCA Badge
It is one of the most effective techniques that can protect your site from image theft. By adding the DMCA (one of the best web content protection service providers), you can strengthen the security of your images. It will take legal action of your behalf and threaten infringers who have downloaded images from your site, without your permission.
There is also a free image watermarking service and you can also use a DMCA plugin to help you incorporate a badge on all your web pages, without any heavy lifting.
In short, DCMA badge is an ideal solution for those who encounter image theft kind of situations all the time.
6. Reverse search for your images
Sometimes, users don’t realize that copying and using other’s images for personal or professional use is illegal. So, you can ask them to stop using your images on their sites. But for this, you need to find your copied image. There is a simple way to find the sites that are using your images.
So, first, access the images.google.com> click on the camera icon in the image search bar > enter your image URL or drag an image, and Google will automatically show you all the images with the same visual results.
Then, you can find out where your images are stolen or not. If there is an exact image on another website, you can click on the URL and ask the owner to remove that particular image from their site.
Follow these proven tips and strengthen the security of your WordPress site against image theft. With these tactics, you can restrict people from stealing your WordPress images.