Images make a very important component of online marketing. They are easier to share on social media and so online marketers have become increasingly inclined to use images more than lengthy text. You may think that this would translate into more profit and recognition for photographers and graphic artists. But thanks to online image theft, they lose more than they make.
The misconception that online images are a free for all and can be used without the owner’s permission has greatly contributed to this problem. So how can you protect your images online? Well, there are several things you can do to protect them and they include the following;
- Copyright Your Images
The first line of defense in the fight against image theft is copyright. In fact, just having a copyright claim on your images is enough to prevent most people from using them. You will of course have to let them know that that you own the photo by explicitly claiming the photo.
- Disable Right-Click
The problem is some people will even ignore a copyright and since the internet can allow for complete anonymity, it may be impossible to know who to sue over the theft. So, you may want to take additional protection measures especially if you are posting the images on your website. The first thing you can do is disable the right clicking feature to prevent someone form just downloading the image from your website.
- Add a Watermark
Unfortunately, would-be image thieves have found a way to download images even if the right-clicking feature has been disabled. So, you can add a watermark to the original image to make it difficult for them to use the image on another website. A watermark is usually enough to deter anyone from using the image especially if the text you choose to use will re-route views back to your website.
- Try Tiling
Since there are ways to remove watermarks from an image using image editing software like Photoshop, a more effective solution is required. Tiling is a very effective way to deter would-be image thieve, but is it a very involving and time consuming process. That’s because it is involves cutting up the photo into tiny pieces, uploading the pieces separately and then re-assembling them online. It therefore becomes impossible for anyone to reconstruct the whole image and therefore they cannot download it.
- Low Resolution Images
Using low resolution images can be a great way to keep your photos safe since low resolution images are not particularly great for websites and therefore not in high demand. But this means that you’d have to compromise on the quality of the images on your own site. You can do this if you’re just displaying small thumbnail images on your website for clients to buy.
If you are however going to display your images on a photo sharing website like Flickr, you may want to check the website’s policy against theft. Find out what steps they take to prevent the theft of your photo.