Protect your online images

by Zyon | 11/28/2009 11:05:00 AM in |

If you’re planning to put some of your digital photos on the Internet then you might want to get ready to go to war. The Battle of the Images is a growing problem with no foreseeable truce in sight. Before you know it, you’ll be trying to think of military-style tactical maneuvers to protect your coveted images. Whatever you come up with to protect your images, someone else will come up with a way to steal them.

The most surefire way to keep your images “your images” is not to put them up on the web at all. But don't surrender so soon! If you’re a photographer, for instance, then you have to make them available for possible clients to see. You don’t need to be a professional to care about your images. Even an online family photo album is vulnerable to attack.

Here’s a list with some of the options available to arm yourself (or your images) with.

  • Watermarking - This is my favorite method of protecting images, and works especially well coupled with a second technique (see the photo at the top right of this article as an example). By putting a watermark on top of your image, you are really making it unappealing and unusable for print and web.
  • Right click disable - This little trick eliminates the right-click ability on computer mouses so people can’t just “Save Picture As” your picture. The problem here is that once someone has viewed your picture, it’s saved in their computer's temporary internet files. If they’re someone that’s been in this war for awhile, let's say a General, then they also know a few other ways around this trick. It will stop most novices from stealing pictures, but there are too many ways to get around this.
  • Shrink Wrapping - This is a cool little tool in the arsenal. What you’re doing here is putting a transparent image over the image. When someone tries to save your photo, all they get is a picture of nothing.

Again, applying any or all of these don’t make you invincible in this war. You will become a victim, one the countless wounded wondering what happened. Remember, the only fool-proof plan is not to put your pictures on the web.


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