Preventing Image Theft Online

Preventing Image Theft Online
Preventing image theft online is a battle every publishing artist has to face. Image theft is a huge worry for artists in this digital age, when everything is avaliable to the whole world online how can we be sure our images are seen but not stolen?

The most important thing I can stress to people asking for ways to prevent image theft is to make sure they never put high resolution images on the internet. The simple task of resizing your images is a huge way to stop image theft. It doesn’t take a lot to make sure your images can be seen beautifully on the internet but not be any use for high quality prints.

Another fantastic way to prevent image theft is to watermark your images or add your logo. If you choose to watermark your image keep in mind it should be quite subtle but very difficult to remove. A logo on the other hand can be more obvious, hopefully promoting yourself or your business, but is usually easy to crop out by determined image theives.

image theft watermark

Many websites offer ways they claim you can combat image theft online, either by placing your images behind a transparent .gif or .png or by disabling the right click function. Both of these attempts to prevent image theft are far from perfect. The screencapture (PrtSC) facility on the pc is always avaliable to the user and limiting the right click option only serves to frustrate innocent visitors trying to browse your site. Users on Firefox, which is estimated to be more than 40% of internet users, are able to view the page source straight from the menu avoiding your image hiding techniques and any internet browser with javascript disabled is still able to right click your images.

Resizing Images

In Adobe Photoshop resizing your images for the web only takes seconds and is by far the most effective way to prevent your images being sold as prints without your knowledge or consent.
In the Photoshop menu choose Image –> Image size… and make sure you set the resolution to 72pixels/inch. This is perfect for viewing images on a screen but doesn’t work well for print. For my largest online images I like to keep my longest side between 640px and 700px depending on the image and where it is to be viewed. For extra ease Photoshop has an added option to “save for web and devices” under the save options. I like this option as again you can reduce the quality of the image a little to reduce the print quality and optimise it for fast web viewing.
save for web and devices

I’ve also included a video to help you resizing your image and saving it for web and devices. THis really is the best option when preventing image theft online.

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