How to Protect Yourself from Digital Content Thieves

By Tosha Johnson | Digital Marketing Tools

Even when you use a content calendar, the struggle to create valuable content is REAL. Having a general sense of the topic you wish to discuss and actually taking the time to bring that content to fruition are two different things. See my writing process, goes a little something like this:

  1. Ok, it’s time to write about (insert topic) so let’s get this party started.
  2. I stare at the screen waiting for “inspiration” to take over.
  3. After 15 minutes, I’m done waiting for “inspiration” to arrive, so I figure I might as well take an undeserved pomodoro break
  4. I work on other projects, run errands, etc.
  5. “Inspiration” finally arrives and I’m nowhere near my laptop. However, this is the story of my life, so I’m well aware that this is going to happen. The recorder app on my phone always gets a workout. 
  6. I record my thoughts.
  7. I get back in front of my laptop and start furiously typing until I’m done with the blog or video.

Now, that’s a whole lot of drama just to publish a  piece of content! So you best believe I get extremely upset when I hear about people having their content, artwork, etc. copied or plagiarized. Regardless of the content format (i.e. video, blog post, etc.), I know it takes a lot of effort to produce original, valuable content. It took me almost 4 months to produce my How to Conquer Market Research on a Shoestring Budget course. I spent plenty of late nights working until 2 or 3 in the morning on that project…

 

How to protect yourself from digital content thieves

Therefore, I know that if someone stole from me, I would be HIGHLY upset.  I don’t buy into that nonsense that when someone copies your work that you should take it as a form of “flattery.” That’s a ridiculous statement. I have no doubt that this was most likely started by the thief who had done their fair share of stealing and wanted to later ease their conscience. It’s not right that someone who didn’t have to go through all the drama I went through to create the piece of content gets to benefit from my hard work.

You may not be able to protect yourself from all forms of digital theft, but incorporating some of the below will deter the majority of the content thieves out there (In case you want to see these sites in action check out the video):

  1. Install Copyright Proof plugin: Installing this plugin can completely disable the right click function (if you choose to do so), so people will not be able to copy and paste your content. This plugin is free. However, you do have the option to upgrade to have additional features which would enable you to record the IP addresses of those attempting to steal your content.

In my opinion, disabling the right click option will dramatically reduce the odds of people stealing your content. Thieves are lazy by nature. Take a look at the number of active installs of Copyright on WordPress websites. It’s only around 3K. There are a lot more vulnerable websites out there, so these thieves are most likely not going to spend all day trying to steal from you.

2. Tineye: In my opinion, Tineye seems like one of the few that tries to help photographers. This is a reverse image search website. It allows you to see where your images are being used online. It enables you to see all the sites that are using that particular photograph. If you see one of your photographs being used without your permission, you to contact the website holders if you want a site(s) to stop using your image(s). You can read more about that here.

However, if you’re looking to avoid this whole step altogether, then take your own photos (I’ve been trying to do this more), buy photos on Canva, purchase a subscription from CreateHerStock, Shutterstock, etc.

How to protect yourself from digital content thieves

3. Create a Google Alert: I use Google alerts for a couple different reasons. I use it not only to monitor industry news but also to monitor my brand.  This is another way that enables you to eavesdrop on what information is being shared about your company. Also, if someone is using your content, a Google alert will help bring this to the surface as well.

4. Grammarly: I thoroughly enjoy Grammarly. There’s a feature in the premium version that literally has a plagiarism section in the tool. Depending on how zealous you are in your fight against content thieves, you may want to consider every couple of months checking in to see if your content is appearing somewhere else. Check out my Grammarly video right here.

5. Copyscape: This is a great site and it’s free. You can easily put in a website page and it will notify you which sites appear to be using your content. I think this is a good site, but I don’t believe it is as accurate as Grammarly. Again, just my opinion, so you do you.

 

In the event you have discovered that someone has stolen your content, you can do the following:

  1. Confront the content thief.
  2. Send a Cease and Desist (either you or your lawyer can create this)
  3. Contact Google and see if you can get them to take down the content. You can read even more information about their stance regarding content theft right here.
  4. You can use whoishostingthis website in order to get the information of the content thief’s host provider information. You may be able to get the host to help you remove the stolen content if you can prove that you are the rightful owner.

These are some of the ways that you can protect yourself from digital content thieves. Am I missing any other techniques or tools that need to be added to this list? I have an inquiring mind and want to know so be sure to share in the comments.

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How to protect yourself from digital content thieves

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About the Author

Hey, I'm Tosha! I'm a digital marketing strategist who creates empowering courses and workshops to help you to soar to new heights online. When I'm not online, I lead an extremely active lifestyle in the Windy City. I enjoy learning languages (hablo español), teaching English, running, biking, boxing, and Krav Maga. Are we connected? If not, let's fix that right now!

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