Effective Ways to Prevent Image Theft in WordPress

Many photographers have to deal with the image theft issue on a regular basis. It is a common issue, especially in the internet world. However, you need to prevent the images that belong to you and if you don’t want anyone else to use them. There are several ways you can prevent image theft on your website. So, in today’s article, we will be giving you some effective tips on how you can prevent image theft in WordPress.

Before we dive into the article, let’s first learn a little about image theft and copyright. Copyright laws are universal and applicable around the world. The original creator of a photograph automatically becomes the copyright owner of their creative work. Even if the owner has not mentioned it on their website, one must know that the content they are viewing is protected by copyright. Not only the photographs, but also the texts, videos, or any other form of content that you see on the web are protected by copyright as well.

Images are one of those factors that can easily be stolen and it is not only illegal but unethical to steal the work of other people. There are many sources on the web where you can easily find royalty free images. One cannot completely stop people from stealing your images, but there are several ways to prevent image theft in WordPress. And here are some of the ways you can use.

 Effective Ways to Prevent Image Theft in WordPress  

Disable Right Click 

Disable Right Click
Disable Right Click.

One can simply right-click your image and save it for them. This is one of the easiest ways to steal images from your website and to prevent that, you can disable the right-click feature on your website and make it more difficult for an average user to steal your image. You can use the WP Content Copy Protection WordPress plugin to disable the right-click feature on your website. However, there’s a downside of this plugin—it disables right-clicking on the whole page. The alternative plugin to disable right-click is the Envira Gallery plugin. The plugin comes with tons of features apart from creating beautiful image galleries. It also helps you protect your images by disabling the right-click option. Disabling the right click option sure will let them know that it’s copyright protected and they’re not allowed to download the image from your website.

Add Watermark to Your Images

add watermark
Add watermark. Image Credit: tipsOtricks

When it comes to protecting image theft, one of the most effective ways is to add a watermark to your images. The downside to this trick is that your images might not look the best. But, you can add the watermark tastefully to keep the aesthetic appeal of your images while preventing image theft. The easy and time-saving way to prevent image theft in WordPress is to either use Envira Gallery or a WordPress plugin to add a watermark. The recommended WordPress plugin to add watermark to your images is the Easy Watermark plugin. The plugin can automatically add watermark to images as they are uploaded to the WordPress media library.

Disable Hotlinking of Images

Hotlinking disallowed. Image Credit: WordPressLover
Hotlinking disallowed. Image Credit: WordPressLover

If you’re new to the word, ‘hotlinking’, it is the process by which someone displays your image on their website by linking to it rather than grabbing a copy of it. The image would load from your server but would be displayed on third-party websites without your permission. This will also increase your server load and bandwidth usage.

To prevent this type of image theft, you can disable the hotlinking of images from your website. And to do that, copy the code below and add it to the .htaccess file on your WordPress site’s root directory.

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?yourdomainname.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

The code will block hotlinking and allow images to be viewed in search results on your website. And in case you don’t want to mess around with codes, you can easily install and activate All In One WP Security & Firewall plugin to disable hotlinking on your website.

Copyright Notice on your Website

Another way to prevent image theft in WordPress is by adding a copyright notice that shows your ownership over the content (including all content on the website, and not just the images) found on your website. To create a copyright notice, you’ll need the copyright symbol, the owner’s name, and the year that the work was created.

We hope this article helped you learn a little about image theft and how you can protect them. The above-mentioned tips were just a few simple yet effective tricks you can use to prevent image theft in WordPress. You can try any of these to protect the images on your website. Moreover, if you want to use images from the internet and are not sure if you’re allowed to, always make sure you provide proper credits to the respective owners of the images.

Do you know any other ways to prevent image theft in WordPress? Let us know about them in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.


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