Your hard work is facing multiple threats. Nowadays, there are people copying images on the Internet because they don’t know better, hackers looking to steal someone’s work, and trolls trying to corrupt data for kicks. That’s why, whether you’re an amateur photographer or a professional, you must follow the right steps to secure your photos.

Step 1: Copyright Your Images

You are usually the automatic copyright owner of your work unless you’re being hired to do the job. But in some countries, you can register your work for more security. Check your local copyright laws for further information. You can also add a copyright notice to discourage or educate people that consume your images. In addition, add your name to your image’s metadata to resolve any disputes or misunderstandings down the road.

Step 2: Edit the Image

There are various ways you can edit the image to discourage theft or misuse. Some methods can be complex, while others may degrade the quality of your photos, so pick what works for you:

  • A watermark can discourage people from using your images without your consent.
  • Low-resolution images can grab attention but are less likely to be stolen.
  • Hidden layers can shield your image from unwanted downloads.
  • Color profiles can be modified to degrade the quality of unauthorized downloads.

Step 3: Use Cybersecurity Tools

Both Mac and Windows PC users should consider upgrading their cybersecurity tools from the baked-in antivirus software on their operating systems. Nowadays, advanced threats like viruses, Trojan horse malware, worms, ransomware, and more can evade standard antivirus software. Ensure that your computer has an advanced antivirus program that applies machine learning and artificial intelligence to stop data-corrupting or data-stealing malware with unknown signatures. Remember, some malware like polymorphic viruses can modify their structure to remain hidden. And a dangerous program can corrupt images in seconds.

Step 4: Learn to Identify Phishing Attacks

A phishing attack can deceive you into sharing your precious data like your images or the login credentials to your email or storage accounts. Usually, phishing attacks occur over email, but they can also occur over text messages. A phishing email may either pretend to be from your client or from an authority that needs your sensitive information. Some phishing emails can also carry links and attachments that infect your system with viruses or spyware. To stay safe from such attacks, avoid opening any strange messages or websites.

Step 5: Set Complex Passwords

Protect all your accounts with sophisticated passwords that are hard to guess for hackers. Long passwords with letters, numbers, and symbols are a good bet. Please also apply the same diligence to your security questions. You can also utilize a password manager to make your life easier.

Step 6: Backup Your Data

Regularly backing up your data can seem like a tedious practice, but it can protect your images from hardware failure, cybersecurity attacks, and other problems. You can either back up locally or use a reputable cloud service. For extra security, use an encrypted hard drive for your backups.

Your images are unique, valuable, and tell a story. Keep them secure with the right editing tools, security software, and precautions.