Protect Your Photographs from Being Stolen on the Internet

Most photographers work hard in protecting their photos from being used by others. This is one of the greatest challenges that photographers are facing when it comes to protecting their work. Despite several techniques like watermarking and copyrights, protecting pictures has become nearly impossible.

Although the Internet has changed a lot of things on how art is shared and distributed, it has also shown a way to steal them. Thousands of photos are uploaded every day on free/paid hosting sites such as Flickr, 500px, Picasa and elsewhere. If the hosting service  provider  says that the photos uploaded are protected, then they are wrong. There are several back entries to gain access to them (Well, viewing the source code is one way).

I have to admit, nothing on the internet can be protected. The best way to protect your art/photos from being downloaded or stolen is to not upload them online. However, it is possible to make image theft harder, but like I said, there is always a back entry.

This article reveals some of the techniques required in order to protect your photos from infringement, ranging from preventing downloads from blogs, finding unauthorized usage of images and modifying your photo’s EXIF data. Let us take a close look at each of these techniques.

Preventing Downloads

Photos uploaded on your photo blog can be prevented in several ways. Here are two basic, yet useful ways – disabling Right-click using Javascript and placing images as a background to Tables.

Disable  Right-click using Javascript:

When you right-click on an image, you have an option to save it. Disabling right-click will prevent visitors from saving your images. To do so, just add the following code in your HTML page –

Place this javascript code after the <head> tag.

<script type="javascript">
<!-- Begin
function disableRightClick(e) {
var msg = "Go hang yourself!";
if (navigator.appName == 'Netscape' && e.which == 3) {
return false;
if (navigator.appName == 'Microsoft Internet Explorer' && event.button==2) {
return false;
else return true;

function onRightClick() 
      document.images[i].onmousedown = disableRightClick;
      document.images[i].onmouseup = disableRightClick;
// End -->

Replace <body> tag with this –

<body onLoad="onRightClick()">

Placing Images as a Background to Tables

You can place your photos as a background image to Tables. Doing so, will remove the option “Save image as…” from the right-click menu. Replace the background-image with the URL of your image in the code below –

<table style="background-image:');

Here’s a demonstration of the technique.

Right-click on both the images to see the difference.

Alternatively, you can hide your image behind a transparent image. i.e., by placing a transparent image within the table data <td> cell. This will, however, enable the Save image as…option, but when someone tries to save/download the image, the transparent image will be downloaded instead of the original image.

Here’s a demonstration.

Right-click and save the image below and see what you have downloaded.

Finding Unauthorized Usage

Recently, Google introduced a new functionality to Google Images where users can search photos by just dragging them into the search bar. Impressive enough, however, the feature focuses on finding similar photos, but not exact ones. To find if your photos are being used elsewhere, you can make use of TinEye. Designed by Idèe, TinEye can be used as an alternative to Google Image search. It is a free image search service that allow photographers to upload a picture and then search for the same image across the Internet.

TinEye allows you to either upload an image or enter the URL of the image, in which the attributes of the image are analyzed instantly, and its fingerprint is compared to the fingerprint of every single image in the TinEye search index. It then provides a detailed list of websites that are using the image.

Modifying EXIF Data

Almost all digital cameras save JPEG files with EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) data. EXIF data contains camera settings such as camera model name, lens, shooting mode, exposure and so on.

When you are uploading a photo online, make sure that you edit the EXIF data and add your information (like your name) in the comments field. It is rare to find infringers to go through the EXIF data and modify it. When you come across someone using your photo without your knowledge, you can sue them for it.

PicGhost: Edit, Resize and Watermark Images In Bulk

There are many tools that let you resize or watermark your images but very few that let you do both. PicGhost is an online tool that lets you edit images, resize them and add watermark to them in bulk. The images can either be uploaded from your computer or from the web.

Once the images are selected, you can specify a custom width and height or resize them to match the smallest or the largest image. You can also choose from one of the many recommended sizes to quickly resize the images. The option to lock the aspect ratio maintains the proportionality of your images.


The tool also lets you add a text or image watermark to your images. You can either upload the watermark image from your computer, or enter the text to display. Custom selection of font, font size and color let you customize the look of your watermark. You can also choose the alignment of the watermark on your images or have it tiled. Once the images are edited, you can preview them before downloading them as a single zip file.


Techie Buzz Verdict:

PicGhost is a great multi-purpose image editor and resizer that saves a lot of time and effort. The interface is intuitive and the the functionality is simple.

Rating: 4/5

Split, Merge, Encrypt, Decrypt and Watermark PDF Files


We have told you about loads of tools in two separate articles:

PDF Exploiter is another multi-purpose PDF which will allow you to split, merge, encrypt, decrypt and watermark PDF Files for free. PDF Exploiter is an opensource software.

Download PDF Exploiter

Google Image Search Users Don’t Like Watermarked Images

Watermarking images is a very popular way of thwarting image thefts. In the past, we have covered several and services which allow you to watermark images for free. However, if you are a webmaster, a recent post on the official Google webmaster blog might change your thoughts on watermarking your blog or website images.


Peter Linsley the product manager of Google Image search talks about some pros and cons of watermarking images.

Pros of watermarked images

  • Photographers can claim credit/be recognized for their art.
  • Unknown usage of the image is deterred.

Findings relevant to watermarked images (Cons)

  • Users prefer large, high-quality images (high-resolution, in-focus).
  • Users are more likely to click on quality thumbnails in search results. Quality pictures (again, high-res and in-focus) often look better at thumbnail size.
  • Distracting features such as loud watermarks, text over the image, and borders are likely to make the image look cluttered when reduced to thumbnail size.

Google Image Search like the regular Google Search is a huge traffic puller. The findings above or the cons of using watermarked images are definitely worth noting. The reasoning is also quite appropriate as images with watermarks are not that enticing when you actually view it in thumbnail format. However, these findings do not say that you should not watermark your images. Although, it is definitely worth knowing how users react to watermarked images.

Would you as a webmaster stop watermarking your images to get better search engine clicks in image search? It would be interesting to debate on this topic as image theft is rampant, however on the other hand every bit of search engine juice is always welcomed by a webmaster.

Watermark Your PDF Files Online

With so many tools to crack PDFs and download PDFs, it is easy for anybody to steal your hard work. To save yourself from such scenarios, it is a very good idea to put a watermark on your PDFs just like you put a watermark on your images. PDF-Watermark is an online tool that lets you do that without any hassle.

All you need to do is head over to PDF-Watermark and upload the PDF files you want to watermark. After that, customize your watermark by choosing the text, font type, font size, color and watermark angle. You also have an option of adjusting the transparency of watermark. Once you are done, click “watermark PDF” and a watermark would be applied to your PDF files. You can then download the modified PDFs to your local drive.

It is a very useful freeware that allows you to protect your PDFs without the hassle of downloading or installing any complicated software.

17 Image Manipulation Tools You Should Know About

We have previously covered a lot of image tools that included everything from image editors to image converters. This post is about a different kind of image tools. Tools that can let you add, transform or manipulate your images to give them a totally new look. All of these tools are free and require no registrations or downloads.

1. Watermark-Images: Batch watermark your images online. Add up to 20 images, customize the text and font of your watermark and apply it to the images within no time. You can adjust the position of you watermark and add a shadow affect to it.

2. FixRedEyes: Remove the red eye effect from any photo with this simple tool. Simply upload the image, adjust the red eye area and click fix.

3. ImageSplitter: Slice up your images in rows and columns. Just upload an image and specify the number of rows and columns you want. Then choose output format and resolution and click process.

4. ImageMerger: Merge two images online using this tool. The first image is treated as a background image and the second one is added on top of it. Useful for adding watermarks to images.

5. Pic2Color: Extract colors from any image. Just upload an image or provide the URL and Pic2Color will provide you with a color palette of colors used in the image.

6. MirrorEffect: Add mirrored effect to any picture. Choose reflection size and the direction of effect (bottom, top, left or right).

7. TextImage: Convert a photo into a text image. Choose from HTML, ASCII or Matrix text images.

8. Pic2Graphics: Recolor pictures by transferring the mood of one picture to another. Simple select two pictures, one to recolor and other to grab the mood from.

9. Montagerator: Create beautiful montages and mosaics online. Upload a photo or use one by providing a URL.

10. Speechable: Add speech bubbles to any image. Customize text and bubble size. Embed images on your blog or webpage.

11. WaterEffect: Add water effect to any image. No registration or downloads required, simply upload the picture and get a water effect in resulting picture.

12. RoundPic: Make your picture   more hip by adding rounded corners to it. This tool takes any image and turn regular corners into rounded ones. You can even add borders and shadows to the picture.

13. BeFunky: Add a digital-painting or cartoon-like effect to your images. Manipulate images by pulling and pushing any area of the image. Create cartoonized avatars by choosing different backgrounds and accessories. You can also add ink, stencil and pencil effects to your images. BeFunky alow works for adding a cartoon effect to videos.

14. PicBite: Annotate images online. Once done, you can download the annotated images or embed them on your blog or web page. Also allows you to crop or resize an image.

15. GIFup: Create animated GIFs online by simple uploading your images and choosing desired animation settings.

16. DoSize: Re-size up to 10 images simultaneously. Once resized, you can download the images or email them to your friends.

17. YearBookYourself: Give your photos a vintage look. Choosa an era like 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s or 80’s and morph it into a classic.

Water Effect

Watermark Images

Quite sometime back we had introduced you to a online service that would help you watermark your images for free, this included adding a custom copyright to any images that you may own and want to upload on the Internet.

Adding watermark is definitely something you should do when you upload images on the web, since many people may try and gain ownership of the image without your knowledge, using a web service to watermark images could get tedious at times when you have lots of images to be watermarked, since you have to upload each and every image and then download the watermarked copy to your desktop.

Continue reading Watermark Images

Watermark Your Images For Free

Many blogs and websites use images to spice up their posts. Most of them are screen shots or images that have been created using image editing tools. Images can be easily copied by any person and used on their own sites passing of the images as their own. There is not much you can do about it as finding and tracking such image thieves is almost impossible.

In such cases watermarking the images with your own personal copyright is the best solution. Watermarking your images would add your copyright notice to the image and thus prevent the image thieves from passing the images as one of their own.

Watermarking each and every image you create can be a pain though and it is time consuming to add custom copyright messages to each and every image. There is a simple way to overcome this problem and you can do it online at absolutely no cost, yes absolutely FREE.

Continue reading Watermark Your Images For Free