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The 6 Tips to Prevent Image Theft in WordPress

The 6 Tips to Prevent Image Theft in WordPress

The prevention of website scraping and content plagiarism is important for all the webmasters. After all, it is frustrating to find your well-written posts appeared on other sites without your permission. In fact, in addition to the textual contents, you also need to protect your graphical components especially when you set up a photo gallery that showcases some high-quality images photographed by you.

In this case, we have listed some useful tips about how to prevent image theft in WordPress, protecting the intellectual property of all your photos.

Tip No.1 – Add the Watermark on Your Images

When it comes to the protection of website images, the first choice for the majority of webmasters might be adding the textual watermark with your website logo, blog title or your own signature to indicate the copyright.

Surely, you can choose to add the watermark manually using some online tools like Photoshop and Fireworks. However, if you are looking for an easy and time-saving process, you can choose to use the Image Watermark plugin, with which you can start the automatic practice to watermark all the images uploaded to your WordPress Media Library. Even, this plugin gives you the freedom for bulk watermarking your previously uploaded photos.

The utilization of this plugin is not difficult. You just need to enter your WordPress Settings tab, click the newly-added Watermark button and finish some simple settings such as the position, text, size, transparency and many more for the watermarks.

Image Watermark Settings

Tip No.2 – Disallow the Right-Click Practice on Your Images

To steal an image, the easiest way is to right-click on it and press the “save image as” button. In this case, to avoid the casual theft, disallowing the right-click function can be a worth-trying option.

To achieve this, the above-mentioned Image Watermark plugin can be putting into utilization again. From its settings page, you can scroll down to the bottom of the screen for the Image Protection area. Here, you simply need to tick the checkbox for disabling the right mouse clicks on images.

Image Protection Settings

Tip No.3 – Showcase the Copyright Notice

Displaying the copyright notice is an effective method if you worry that there is someone claiming your images at their own sites without your permissions.

Instead of resulting in some actual practices, it simply acts as a deterrent to prevent image theft by giving people a realization that they are not allowed to download and to use your images for achieving their own aims.

In fact, almost all the WordPress themes are coming with the default copyright notice displayed in the footer section of your site. Check the example in the following.

Footer Copyright Notice

Also, it is possible that your template does not have this built-in feature. In this case, you can insert the following lines of coding stuff into the footer.php file o f your current theme. Note that your website name and the current year can be filled and updated automatically.

Copyright © <?php echo date("Y"); ?> <?php echo bloginfo("url"); ?> All Rights Reserved.

In addition to the footer notice, we also suggest you displaying a more prominent one in your webpage sidebar using the text widget with the following textual content. Update the Blog Name and the Current Year based on your own situation.

Sidebar Copyright Notice

Tip No.4 – Start the Hotlinking Protection

To be frank, if someone are hotlinking your site, they do not only steal your images, but also steal your bandwidth. After all, instead of downloading from your site and uploading the images to their websites, they showcase your self-owned graphical content using your image URL directly. In this case, start the hotlinking protection is surely essential.

If your web host is a rich-featured one that offers the Hotlink Protection service, you can activate this service using your control panel easily. Also, you can enable the protection by adding the below codes into your .htaccess file.

Enable HotLink Protection using .htaccess

Even, there are a lot of lightweight WordPress plugins available to help you achieve this purpose. Personally, we recommend you to try the HotLink Protection plugin.

Tip No.5 – Have a Try on DMCA Badge

Here, you have to note that dmca.com is the top one provider for web content protection and the DMCA take-down service. With it, you can have the stolen images removed from the outside websites simply by filling out the detailed information of the infringement happened on your site. Dmca.com has a group of professional staffs working for the take-down claims 24/7.

Even, you can create the DMCA badge and display it on your site, which works as a deterrent for image thieves.

DMCA Badge

Tip No.6 – Start the Reverse Search for Your Images

From Google Images, you can find the camera icon in the image search box. Simply click it and start a reverse search by entering your image URL or by uploading your image from the local computer. This way, Google will check all the available images that are coming with the similar visual results. Then, you can figure out whether your images are stolen or not and who steal your images. Thus, you can contact the site owners for asking them to remove the illegal graphical content.

Reverse Search for Images

The only drawback of this method is that you can only search individually, so it may take times for checking all your images.


Susan Rose is a freelance writer who has a deep knowledge about WordPress. She loves everything related to website building since the freshman year at Christopher Newport University, and loves to share her experience with people all over all the world. In the daily life, Susan loves detective novels as it can train her logical thinking and creativity.