Image Theft Guard

How PhotoShelter protects your images

By default, the images on your PhotoShelter website are enabled with our Image Theft Guard, which is a transparent .gif image overlaid across yours. This practice allows your image to be viewed normally, but when a visitor to your site tries to save the image by right clicking or dragging it to his or her desktop, the visitor will have saved a blank image instead.

Overlaying a blank image over yours does provide some protection for your content, and amateur attempts at image theft will be denied. However, the following is also true:

  • Some buyers like having the freedom to save images right to their desktops.

  • A savvier web user can get around the pixel overlay to obtain the screen resolution image it's obscuring.

  • The largest possible screen resolution image anyone can grab from your site is a 1000px JPEG (anything larger, including the full file you originally uploaded, can only be obtained by a download that you permit).

  • Anyone can take a screenshot of your site anyway.

  • Many people who are stealing your images would never pay to begin with, so you're not really losing a client - rather just getting your work out there.

With this in mind, many users opt to disable to the Image Theft Guard. This way, there is the lowest possible friction in converting a legitimate site visitor to an image sale or assignment.


Disabling Image Theft Guard

1. To disable the Image Theft Guard - which simply removes the transparent overlay from your website's full-size images - select Website > Image Security from the Navigation Bar. 


2. Select Disabled from the Image Theft Guard area. 


Note: With Image Theft Guard disabled, the screen version of your images can be saved right to your desktop by any visitor to your site, complete with your original filename and IPTC Copyright embedded. (To keep page load times optimal, which is crucial for your visitors - both search engine and human - we do not embed your full metadata within the screen resolution version of your image.)

If you choose to disable the Image Theft Guard, remember that watermarking your images is always a good idea!


Still have questions? Contact us.