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April 16, 2015

How to Prevent Your Website Content from Being Copied

Image courtesy of (Stuart Miles) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We all hate our work being copied, because we know how much time, effort and money went into creating it and don’t want to let any random person come and steal our work. A work of the mind is even more dear to its creator, especially because of its uniqueness and priceless creativity. The same goes for a website, which you may have created with all your resources and applying your heart and soul to it. Seeing your website ripped off can definitely make your blood boil.

This article explains how you can prevent your website from being copied or how to deter plagiarizers from getting their hands on your website content.

Do note that there is no fool proof solution to preventing your website from being copied. While there may be a lot of ways to copy your website, you can at least slow down or deter common forms of plagiarism.

Password Protected Pages

The simplest way to prevent your content from being stolen is by locking it up and preventing unauthorized access. Then only those whom you trust will be able to see your content. You can also pinpoint who had access to the information and how it may have been leaked.

Password protecting pages can be done in a number of ways, but the simplest is to add a couple of lines of code in your public directory to setup a simple username and password system. Then everytime users visit your site, they will be prompted for a username and password, without which they will not be able to see anything.

Another way of doing this is by using a Content Management System which stores authentication data in a database. This is one of the most effective and widely used options in securing your web folders. However, the biggest down side to this is that it will also block search engines from accessing your website. Search engines will also be greeted with the same login page and will not be able to proceed further.

Hotlink Protection

You can also setup Hotlink Protection so that if someone has embedded your videos, music or images in his or her blog or web page, the embedded media will not appear and will appear broken, whereas if a normal user tries to access the media from a browser, they will be able to see everything normally. This was used years back, to prevent bandwidth theft by blocking images which consumed a lot of data when being transferred. The advantage of hotlink protection is that you can select which file type the limit should apply to, so that certain file types like images can be linked but videos and music cannot.

Watermark Images

A crude but effective way of preventing images from being copied and published is to overlay them with a watermark or label indicating the source. Although this will not prevent it from being copied, the watermark will go with the image, wherever it is copied. There are various online and offline image editing tools which can be used for this purpose.

Disable Right Click and Selection

Another simple way to freeze copycats is to prevent them from selecting specific text on your website. This way, you can allow a part of your text to be selected and disable other parts of your page from being highlighted. This will allow search engines to crawl your website without any hassle, but it will deter, if not prevent, leaches from grabbing your content.


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