Ways To Protect Your Online Content
Content bandits are on the loose in the savage world of the internet. Digitalization has made it increasingly easy for anyone to steal content. A comprehensive approach to defending your assets would need to cover multiples aspects such as writing, technology, and copyright.
We house expert technocrats who have shared their views on how to protect your content and find the thief in case your content has been stolen.
Surely, the following tips are worth your attention:
1: Be distinctive
Save your content from being robbed by creating a unique and inimitable style of writing that your readers recognize as yours’. Practice a distinct style and find ways to make it interesting and difficult to copy to safeguard your content from being stolen.
2: Don’t forget, you are the artist. Set your signature.
Make it difficult for thieves to steal your work. Sign every piece of writing that you send out into the digital world and otherwise, endorsing it with your authorship and making it yours’ originally. Lazy thieves will leave you alone and look for easier options. A Google Alert with your name will weave the net to catch the robber in the event of plagiarism.
3: Make your mark
No one can pass off your work as theirs if it is plastered with your name or logo. Do it all the time.
4: Watermark Your Images
If your content contains custom images, it’s a good idea to watermark them to discourage theft. Makin your content difficult to edit will eliminate the lethargic thieves straightaway. And, the more adventurous ones will think twice before stealing your content due to fear of legal allegations and the fines associated with it.
5: Add the copyright seal
Copyright is helpful in the event of your content being stolen unintentionally. The oblivious users will get alerted thus curtailing violation of your rights.
6: The WordPress Plugin
Protect your content against theft using the WordPress plugin. These are very effective as they are digitally signed and time-stamped certified making content theft impossible to achieve. Furthermore, prevent content burglary by disabling the right-clicks and dragging and dropping images by installing a plugin like WP Content Copy Protection.
7: Trap the robber
If you discover that your content has been stolen from your site or blog adopt these formulas to track the robbery.
7a: Copyscape: This tool finds your stolen content destination. Other apparatus that might help you succeed in finding your lifted content are HubSpot customer and Searchlight.
7b: Referral Traffic: Check where your traffic is coming from. Is the source known to you, or there is a specific base you don’t know about.
7c: Pingbacks: If you have a robust content management system in place, you will be notified when a site links back to a post. This way stolen content can be traced very quickly.
7d: Set up alerts like Google Alerts, Topsy, and HubSpot Social Inbox to buzz you when your content is seen in places other than yours’.
7e: Search for your content by looking for a long tail phrase- like a paragraph or a definite text that appears at the bottom of every post.
7: Gather the situation before reporting content theft or sending rude emails. Before you point a finger you will have to identify if your content can be used; as in some cases it can be legally used.
While your content is always protected under the copyright law, the law also states that some content can be used in conditions like scholarly or technical work, commentary or criticism in a parody, in a news report, and reproduction by a student or teacher for purposes of teaching.
Unfortunately, the difference between fair use and violation is not clearly defined by the system.
8: If you strongly believe your content has been copied and you want to address the matter on a serious note you might want to consider the following:
8a: Take a shot at the screenshot:
Screenshot your copied content as proof of plagiarism, gather the site URL to enable site finding, and go for it.
8b: In your face:
Email your offender directly before reporting abuse, especially if you have to maintain your relationship with your offender. In case, you have to struggle with getting the email right, try a domain search. A Google Chrome plugin called Rapportive might also help trace the email id.
8c: If your email is ignored consider reporting the theft to search engines and hosting providers and request the content to be removed. You could also resort to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act DCMA as it follows stringent procedures for data removal. Though, this might take anything between a few hours to a few weeks.
Instead of going through the stress of content removal, it would be smarter to take a few steps to ensure content protection. Honestly, there is no sure way of protecting your content, but you can always play safe by adopting a few tips to avoid chaos.
1: Display copyright notices in the form of banners on your pages. Copyscape and DCMA have free banners for this purpose.
2: Clearly define content usage guidelines: Encourage fair sharing of content by creating certain thumb rules to avoid disappointing your fans who share your content for genuine reasons.
3: A Google Search Authorship will not only help you claim your content but also stimulate more traffic to your content.
4: Broadcast some of your content in your RSS feed with links to the entire content.
5: Always have your logo on your visual content. Removing a logo is not easy and makes your visuals difficult to copy.
6: If nothing works seek legal aid. If content theft is impacting your ranking as a writer then it’s time to let people know you mean business and you won’t let anyone play with our work.
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