Content thieves – we all hate them. One of the things we bloggers hate the most is other people copying our contents, especially our images, and posting them like they’re their own. Being familiar with coding and photo editing software, I know there are a hundred ways for other people to get what they want from your blog even if you have installed plug-ins or scripts to disable this and that.
Don’t worry, I won’t be sharing HOW one can steal your contents. This post is actually about some ways you can make it more difficult for others to do so. Yes, HARDER, not impossible ‘cause, again, there are ways, really. (Okay, I need to stop before I eventually give in and tell you how else you can take someone’s contents. :D)
Ways to Ward Off Content Thieves
Most content thieves would easily give up when you make it harder for them to steal your images and texts. So, here are some of the ways I’ve tried myself to cause them more hassle than the usual:
It may be troublesome placing watermarks on your images, but it does fend off those who’s in the business of stealing photos. Again, they can still cut or crop your watermarks out of the picture, but some are too lazy to edit so they choose those that don’t have any.
Most of the people I know use Photoscape for their batch watermarking needs (it’s also great for quick photo edits). I personally use Visual Watermark. It’s not free though, but I won the license from a giveaway so I’m using that.
For small number of photos, especially when I want to place the watermark somewhere else other than the lower left or right of the photos, I use Adobe Photoshop.
Disable Highlighting of Text
Did you know that people can steal your content by simply highlighting and copy-pasting them on Windows Live Writer or even their online blog post editor? Yes, including your images and they even end up leeching your bandwidth!
Leeching – Direct hotlinking of images or files uploaded to your own server by others. Also referred to as offsite image grabs or piggy-backing where the content owner’s bandwidth is stolen as well.
I haven’t personally used any script on Blogger for disabling highlighting of text so I can’t recommend anything for now. But, you can check out these search results. I may update this post with a recommended script.
For WordPress, I use the same plug-in as for disabling right-clicking. See below.
Use Scripts or Plug-ins That Disable Right-clicking.
Why disable right-clicking? This is to prevent others from right-clicking your images and saving them on their computers. It also stops others from finding out where your images are hosted so they can’t leech your bandwidth by simply getting the image location or link.
For WordPress, I use the plug-in WP-CopyProtect. What I like about it is it can disable highlighting of text too. Plus, it gives you the option to use a popup message to notify your reader that right-clicking is disabled. Here’s the plug-in’s settings page:
There’s actually a loophole in Google Chrome for content thieves to steal your contents when you have the popup message enabled.
When they continually right-click on your blog, they will eventually get this message:
When they check that box and click on OK, they can continue on your blog and right-click away. So, my tip is to not show any notification message anymore. Most of our readers now anyway are smart enough to realize that you disabled highlighting and right-clicking on your site… well, after a couple of attempts. 😀
Enable Hotlink Protection on Your Server’s cPanel
If you have a self-hosted blog and you have access to your Control Panel (cPanel), you can actually enable the Hotlink Protection feature to prevent other sites or blogs from posting your images on your server on their own pages.
Take note though that this only applies to images that were uploaded to your server, not those that you have on Flickr, Photobucket, etc. I just had to clarify that for some who might get confused.
1. Login to your cPanel. Scroll down to the Security tools and click on the HotLink Protection icon, as shown below.
You’ll then be directed to the Hotlink Protection settings page.
2. Enter the URLs that you’re allowing to hotlink your images or files. I’ll put in all my blogs’ URLs there. Once done, click on the Enable button.
3. For added protection, you can disable direct access to your images. For instance, if they know the links to your images, when they open it directly on their browser, the image won’t load.
You can also redirect them to a certain page, possibly explaining you’re not allowing hotlinking of images. 🙂 Hit on Submit afterwards.
You can also disable hotlinking through the .htaccess file, something I haven’t personally tried since doing this on my cPanel works for me.
Take note that when you disable right-clicking or highlighting of your contents, it may cause you more trouble than the usual when you are posting articles that contain, for instance, recipes, or mechanics for a giveaway. So, make sure you’ve already thought it over if disabling those 2 functionalities altogether will do your blog or site more good than turning off your readers.
Besides, there are hundreds of high-traffic and popular websites / blogs out there that don’t watermark or disable highlighting and right-clicking on their pages. You might take that into account too when you think it through.
For me, I want to protect my contents as much as I can. It’s just too stressful to see other people using my images or texts like they’re their own. 🙂
How about you? How do you protect your contents from content thieves?