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How to Protect Web Content

Protecing Your Content
By Sharon Housley

Just like writers, photographers, and other creative artists have learned, protecting content is one of the primary struggles that webmasters face on a daily basis. It takes time and talent to develop quality content, and there are few things more frustrating than to discover that your content has been poached by another website.

There are a number of actions that webmasters can take to proactively protect their work from being used without authorization by people on the web who are simply looking to cut corners. Take the following steps to proactively guard your content...

1. Watermark

If the product or item you are selling is image-intensive, consider including a watermark on the images. If you are using a system like Telavis, you can automatically add a watermark to any images. Digital watermarks can also help "prove" ownership if the need arises as the result of a content dispute.

Example of Watermarks:

Logo Search - http://www.logo-search.com
Photo Wizard - http://www.photo-wizard.net

2. Include Copyright

It may seem like common sense, but it is still worth mentioning -- you should always include a copyright notice on any webpage that contains your content.

3. Right-Click Javascript

Content thieves often acquire images simply by right-clicking on an image in their browser, and then using the "Save" option to save their own copy of the image. Some webmasters have had success in protecting their images by using javascript to disable the "right-click" action on their website.

4. Ideas Can Not Be Stolen

Images, graphics, and content can all be protected by copyright laws, but "ideas" can not. If you have a brilliant business idea, and you blog about the details of your idea, be aware that others can legally use that idea. If you want to protect an idea, be careful who you disclose the details to.

5. Monitor

There are a number of tools you can use that will alert you if someone has stolen your web copy. One of the more popular tools is Copyscape ( http://www.copyscape.com/ ), where you can setup an account and then have Google Alerts sent to you if your content is copied and posted.

6. Not Full Size

When displaying an image, do not display the full-sized image. A smaller, lower-resolution version of an image will often suffice for website usage, and the quality will degrade if a thief attempts to increase the graphic size.

If someone truly wants to steal your content, there is very little you can really do to prevent it. Nothing is fool-proof, but putting reasonable safeguards in place may help guard your content from less-determined, casual poachers.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com audio recording and editing software.

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This article may be used freely in opt-in publications and websites, provided that the resource box is included and the links are active. A courtesy copy of the issue or a link to any online posting would be greatly appreciated send an email to sharon@notepage.net .

Additional articles available for publication available at http://www.small-business-software.net/free-website-content.htm

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