Prevent Images From Being Copied on Your Website


Preventing Images from being copied on your website is growing to be a bigger concerns these days amongst website owners. How can you prevent images from being copied? Here are a few methods to consider…

The internet is a vast and wide place. Just look how far we’ve come in the past few years. We can now bank, shop, buy, view movies, interact, and promote all online! Our ability to work in cyberspace expands at an alarming rate. But even as we move forward, we can get consumed in the new features, new trends, and newest technology that even some of the simplest things can get overlooked. Everyone today has some form of a website, whether its a personal site or business website, 80% of Americans are online. We are more open now to the greatest robbery known in cyberspace.

We proudly post our own created images of photos we’ve taken or graphical images we’ve created only to open up our website to image thievery. In the terms of use agreement for some photo companies, they ask you to place a statement on your website that indicates “these properties (the images) may not be saved or downloaded and are for viewing purposes only.”

It’s just not possible by purely technical means to absolutely stop people copying images from your web site. If people can see images on their computer monitor, they can copy. This is because you have no control over what software they might have on their computer, and once your image is in their browser on their computer, a simple “screen print” can capture any image.

While there is no fool proof method to securing website images, you can take some additional measures to deter would-be copiers. You can insert a snippet of code on your webpages that prevents the right-click “save image as…” feature. Although it appears to be an worthwhile attempt, there are some issues that arise from this method you should consider first.

The script displays a message if the user does try to right-click. Some people might prefer to simply silently prevent right-clicks. Users are also forbidden to right-click anywhere on the web page. This stops “legitimate” right clicks (for example to open an image in a new browser window) from happening.

You can also watermark your images with the help of special software. This will enable you to identify and mark your photos and deter any would be copiers. Another way, is to have your website code so it does not submit your images to Google Images. You could also create a website all in FLASH. Which prevents the drag to desktop technique but can still be captured via screen print. These are additional steps that you can add to put that extra measure of security on your images, but they are not foolproof. Where there’s a will there’s always a way and unfortunately, image copying has not proven to be a difficult task for even the newbie computer user.

It’s a challenge to prevent copying because we’re faced with browsers that are constantly upgrading versions and enhancing their features. Look at Firefox’s SEO toolbox which includes an “Images” pulldown menu that allows you to be able to just view a website’s images and copying couldn’t be easier. Just think, if computer hackers can hack into a major computer system, how simple it would be for them to copy images from a website. On a Google alone, there are over one million search results to show you HOW to accomplish copying an image from a website!

The best thing to do is do your best to safeguard against image thievery. Place statements on your website, insert the special code to prevent the save image as…, and/or watermark your images. Take the most steps you can in trying to deter illegal copying of your images but also be aware that if a copier really wanted an image, it can be done and no method is 100% effective.

Perhaps as we head into the future of technology there will be a software that website owners can purchase like an “alarm system” to further deter from copying. You never know what lies ahead in technology but we can be sure, it will be more than we can think of now.



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