How To Protect Your Photos From Theft on the Internet: 5 Working Methods

Everyone who posts their photos on the Internet is at risk. Because it can be stolen and used for personal purposes, it is tough to protect yourself from theft. But the reality of the modern world is such that we cannot help but upload photos to the Internet. This is the basis of business promotion and the key to good advertising. So, you need to know how to protect your intellectual property.

We will tell you how to protect images from theft or make attackers work hard. For example, photographers can upload their work to unique paid portals, where only registered users can download photos. Another popular way to protect images is to add watermark to photo. A watermark symbolizes authorship and helps protect pictures from being copied.

Who Needs to Protect Photos from Theft

First, those who make money on their creation must protect photos or illustrations from theft. This applies to designers, photographers, brands, and marketing agencies. It is optional for ordinary users of social networks to protect photos.

It is straightforward to steal intellectual property on the Internet, copy a photo or take a screenshot of the screen. To reduce the risk, you need to know your rights.

  • Learn the rules for posting photos when uploading them to any site.
  • On all publications, indicate authorship. Otherwise, the attacker will copy the photo and call himself the author.
  • Post copyright information on photos. This ensures that the authorship remains yours even if third parties use the image.

To legally protect their work, many photographers put “Copyright (year)” on them. All rights reserved”. This phrase warns intruders that they will face administrative responsibility for the theft. Also, you can have a trademark lawyer, which is a person who is qualified to act in matters involving trademark law and provide legal advice on trademark and design matters.”

TOP 5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Image Theft

We will tell you the most popular and effective ways to protect images and photos.


The simplest but most effective way to protect is to apply a watermark to the photo. The watermark must be large enough and visible, so attackers cannot remove it. At the same time, the sign should not distract from the main essence of the photo.

Transparent Image

A simple but effective snag. A specially created transparent image will cover the author’s content. You can create a transparent layer in Photoshop or other graphic editors.

It is superimposed using HTML and CSS on top of an illustration or photo. By the way, you can simplify the task and use a free plugin for WordPress, with which you can add a transparent layer to any image in a few clicks.

Only the top transparent layer will remain if an attacker copies the photo.


Using a unique code will prevent users from accessing the context menu. The user cannot right-click on the image and select the “Save image as …” function. Experienced attackers can bypass this method, but ordinary users will not save or copy your content.

You can make such a block on any site. For this, JavaScript code is used (it can be found on the Internet). You can block the right mouse button on the site using the code.

Mosaic Image

You can split a photo into any number of parts, download it separately and combine it already on the site. The picture will look whole, but an attacker can save only one of its parts by clicking on the right mouse button. Ordinary users will not download 4 parts of an illustration and assemble them into one whole in a graphic editor.

Compressed Image

To protect your intellectual property, it is recommended to upload small files to the site. It is better to use a photo of no more than 400×600 pixels. This is enough to appreciate the work. Small images are usually not downloaded for use on third-party sites.

However, you can use a low resolution if you want to upload large photos. Compressing the image can be done in any graphics editor. This will reduce the photo’s resolution; it will look good on the site, but it will not work to print such an image – it will become blurry. Such pictures do not attract the attention of intruders, as they are inconvenient to use.

Advice! When compressing images on your site, leave a message for potential customers. The letter indicates that a high-quality photo or illustration will be provided upon request, and a reduced copy will be posted on the site to protect the content.

If you still need to place an image in high quality, upload them to a file hosting service or a secure folder. This will allow you to decide who can receive the photo since you will send links to the work.

When uploading your work to your site, ensure only registered users can access them. Be sure to add a captcha to restrict access for bots.

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