Snap Safe

If you wish to display your photos online but don’t want strangers viewing or downloading them, read on as we show you how to secure your pics from unauthorised clickers...

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By  Cleona Gretel Godinho Published  May 1, 2006

|~|PICWITHwatermark.jpg|~|Using PhotoMark to insert watermarks in your snaps|~|If you host photos on your own web page, a good way to prevent users from copying your pics is by disabling right-click functionality (as many users steal pics by simply right-clicking on a pic and selecting ‘Save Picture As’). One way of doing this is to use a piece of JavaScript code that disables the right-click menu on the image itself. Note: this code works in IE, Firefox and Netscape. Make your mark Another way to sap the interest of image thieves is to upload only low-resolution images and embed these with watermarks. For this, we recommend using PhotoMark V1.3, available at Esmarttools.com. We suggest you make a copy of your original image and add a watermark to this because once you’ve added a watermark to your pic the app cannot remove it. To create a text watermark, go to File/New watermark. In the Create watermark window, enter a name for your watermark and select Text (or Picture) watermark. Then, click ‘Next’ to open the Edit watermark window and enter your desired text. You can then change the font and size of the text. Drag the Transparency scroll bar to 50% to make sure your watermark will be visible. Select the position of your watermark on the photo by clicking one of the nine buttons under the Position section. Now that you have your own watermark, you can apply this to all your pictures. In PhotoMark’s main window, select the directory your pictures are stored in. Select a watermark from the list, and the effect will be shown immediately in the preview window. Click the ‘Add files’ button in the ‘Selected files and Directories’ panel to add the selected picture to the waiting list. Right-click the waiting list, choose ‘Add watermark' and ‘Save as’. Your watermark will now be applied. Although disabling right-click functionality on your site is an effective way of preventing users from stealing images, it's not fool proof. As a second line of defence, we recommend shrink-wrapping your pics as well. (This only applies to those who host photos on their own website.) Honey, I shrunk the pics! By shrink wrapping we mean placing a transparent .gif file over the photo you’re trying to protect. This means that if a user right-clicks the image and clicks ‘Save As’, they will download a transparent image instead of the real one. To do this, you’ll have to place your original image into a table as the background for the table and then place a transparent image in front of it, as the table content. To make things easy, http://javascript.about.com/library/blimgprot.htm has a form that creates the entire table for you. Simply, enter the details of your image into the form and hit the ‘Create image’ button. Once the JavaScript code has been generated, simply include this in your page. Photo sharing sites If you don’t have your own web space and prefer to use a photo sharing website, there are tons of these to choose from. However, if you want a photo sharing website that offers a decent level of security for your photos, it’s a trickier choice. To make your life easier, we’ve done the work for you (see table). Now simply take your pick. ||**||

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