How to Protect Your Digital Content from Being Stolen

Written by David Koller | 1 Comment | 6 min read

Today’s post is from our guest, David Koller. You can learn more about David in his author profile below the article.

Having a website is a great way for a business to increase its online presence and promote its brand. However, it is also an easy way for someone to steal your content and use it for their purposes. Plagiarism is not anything new in the world of creative minds and you should make sure that all the necessary precautions are in place to protect yourself.

Sometimes, you will have to create your own rules, while other times you will have to seek assistance from the law and regulations governing intellectual property. Since websites fall under various copyright and trademark regulations, you will have to do some extensive research. Additionally, this will not only help protect yourself but also your clients and customers from breach of data.

Here are some of the things you can do to prevent people from stealing your digital content or at least make sure they borrow it properly.

1) Use the copyright notice

Just like alarms don’t stop thieves, neither will the copyright notice at the bottom of every page. However, it will lower the number of times plagiarism happens because it will help put the law on your side. Make sure that you have done everything appropriate to protect your digital data legally and by being very clear about permissions in the copyright notice.

Based on the copyright law, the moment you publish something on your website, it is protected by this legislation in the United States. If you want, you can file copyright protection with the U.S. Copyright Office or other countries where you registered your website for work. This means that your work falls under the copyright infringement laws if they’re stolen by persons from another country or translated.

Therefore, if they’re stolen by persons from another country or translated without your permission you can address your copyright office based on World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO).

2) Create original content for SEO

If you have a business, you should use SEO on your website because it will bring you more customers and increase your revenue. One of the ways to make sure this all works perfectly is to have original content on your website. Besides being unique, it also has to be high quality so Google will rank it higher in relevant search results.

This will require putting in extra effort, but it will be rewarding in the end. Since Google carefully monitors pages for plagiarism since 2011 with its algorithm, your thief will not benefit much from copying your content. The position on the search result list depends on your content, and stealing yours will only damage the potential thieves standing in many search engines.

3) When to allow the theft

People will steal your content, you can’t stop that completely. You can only appeal to their common sense and dignity by forbidding the taking of your content without permission in your website terms of use, copyright notice and copyright symbol at the bottom of every page. This may deter some, but not all.

Therefore, since the theft will happen, then you might as well get some use from it. This strategy means that you allow people to republish your work and you are making this decision clear to the potential thieves. It could be wise to write a separate document on proper ways to copy content from your website stating there that the copier should state where they got it from.

Sometimes it might be okay to just let theft of your content happen. You have to weight the benefits and drawbacks. Share on X

To help people understand and easily copy your material, place an embedded code on after each content on your website so that others can use it to republish your work. Additionally, if someone asks you for permission and you grant it, then this is also a proper way to copy something from your website.

Using these actions will help your content reach a wider audience and it will bring more traffic to your website. When they publish your content, it is linked to the original source thus giving you a natural link which will help your SEO. In addition, this is one of the easiest ways to get more exposure and promote your website.

4) Find out if your digital content is stolen

Since you can’t know if your digital content was stolen without doing an exhaustive check on the Internet manually, you can try some of these tools to help.

Google Alerts will help you scan the Internet by creating specific criteria. You can adjust several options for the search results like sources, language, and frequency of alerts. With Google Alerts you can receive notifications about copied content. You just need to copy the text in the search bar and you will receive alerts whenever someone uses it. This way you can detect plagiarism and find the right approach to solve it, especially if your content is under legal copyright protection.

Other tools include Article Checker which is free online service which will allow you to manually check an article from your website for plagiarism. Duplichecker is another free online service where you can insert text or URL you want to be checked. Plagiarisma supports over 190 languages and accepts file formats like .docx, .pdf and .rtf.

5) Be clear about your digital content

One of the ways to check what is allowed regarding your content is to be clear about what people can do with your content. terms of use are one way to do that, but they can be too much trouble for website visitors to read. That is why being very transparent and stating your rules on your website about us section is much better.

For example, you can address the visitors directly by introducing yourself, your business and your website. You can state that if they want to use the materials, they are more than welcome to if they contact you. This is easier and more clear for most and may lead to less copyright infringement.

Make it easy for a website visitor to understand how they can use your website content. The easier you make it to comply with copyright, the more people will comply. Share on X

Additionally, if you want to collaborate with other websites and people, create a special page with more details on how they can do this. This will allow you to form business connections with others and boost your SEO.

Using the tools mentioned above to detect content theft will help you decide if you need to confront the thieves or not, but it will not prevent copyright infringement entirely. It’s always important for every business owner to maintain terms and policies.


Before you publish a website, make sure you have all the information necessary to protect yourself from digital content theft. Also, consult an expert in digital legal issues since they can better help protect you and do things lawfully online.

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