One of the most amazing aspects of running an online business is how simple it is to not only start your own business but also to market it through a variety of different types of online material (i.e., social media, blogs, email lists, podcasts, etc.).

The disadvantage? It is extremely easy for someone to swipe that same online content. On the one hand, depending on the location of your content, there is practically no way to prevent or stop someone from copying it.

For instance, someone could sit down with an iPhone in one hand and a MacBook open in the other and painstakingly write down your Instagram caption word for word. So how can you really protect your content?

You can prevent them from doing so — all you have to do is put yourself in the best possible position to act. And depending on the platform on which you’re posting your work, you’ll need to employ various strategies and techniques on how to protect your content from being copied.

protect your content

Preventing Plagiarism On Social Media

1. Add Your Name

How often do you see creative and unique graphics and posts on social media that lack the creator’s name, business name, or logo?

Of course, someone may attempt to copy the actual content of the post, but having your name on the image helps safeguard it.

In this manner, you’re not only making it more difficult to copy but also indicating to the copycat that this is your original work.

2. Include A Copyright Statement

You can always include the copyright “formula” at the bottom of your social media posts and other original online content. To do so, simply enter the following: © [year of first publication] [name of content owner/business]

While copyright law protects you even if you do not include this “formula” in your blogs or other original content, it does assist in putting people on notice.

Additionally, including this in your content establishes the date on which the content was created. In this manner, someone else cannot later claim that he or she was the original creator of your copied content.

how to protect your content

3. Observe And Report To Social Media Platforms

When all else fails, you must utilize the resources available to you. Even if a copycat does not explicitly reproduce (i.e., reuses your content or photos without your permission), he or she can nevertheless copy or mimic your content.

When this happens, you should first inform the platform via its reporting system that the content is plagiarized. Depending on the site, this is typically a fairly straightforward procedure in which you notify them that you are the original author of the work and did not approve its copying.

To ensure success in reporting and removing the content, you’ll want to follow tips #1 and #2 above to identify yourself as the content’s original creator and owner.

How to Protect Your Blog Content From Copying

1. Use Tech Tools To Keep Your Content Safe

To be clear, there may be practically nothing you can do to prevent someone from stealing your content. However, there is one mechanism for how to protect your content that is working in our favor: technology tools!

Consult your website developer or designer to determine if anything can be included on your website to prevent visitors from downloading your images, right-clicking, copying/pasting content, etc. If you use WordPress, you may even be able to prevent some theft using a WordPress plugin.

What matters is that you inform them of your concern about copycats stealing your content and solicit their recommendations. Perhaps there is more that they can do to protect your hard work!

how to protect your blog content

2. Send Out A DMCA Takedown Notice

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a copyright law in the United States that enables content creators to easily have their stolen original work removed from a copycat’s website.

Rather than directly addressing the copycat, as a Cease & Desist letter would, the DMCA allows the original creator to send a “DMCA Takedown Notice” to the internet service provider hosting (aka., publishing) the objectionable content.

Thus, if you discover that your blog post, recipe, or images have been republished without your permission on another website, you would hunt out the website’s host and contact them to lodge a DMCA takedown notice. (Most hosting providers include a DMCA form on their website or make it easily accessible via customer service.)

3. Include Website Policies

Beyond copyright protection, you’ll want to have all three website policies on your site at all times: a privacy policy, a website disclaimer, and terms & conditions (you can purchase all three website policies separately or as part of a bundle).

You want to include a policy on content sharing and a statement about protecting your intellectual property in your terms and conditions. This will assist you in establishing your (written) guidelines so that if a copycat copies your post, you can easily assert that they violated your terms and conditions.

Protect Your Intellectual Property Today

Another critical concern is this: Given that practically everything on your website is intellectual property, do you have the essential security in place to ensure that what is yours remains yours?

The protection of your intellectual property is critical for any business strategy. Trademarks, copyrights, and patents help to formalize and protect your intellectual property, which can have an immediate and strategic impact on your company’s market position and competitive advantage. Don’t put your company’s intangible assets at risk. Visit Watchdog Business Tools to learn more about your intellectual property and how you can protect your content online.