Although the internet is a great source of information and helps us stay in the loop, it can be a scary place. Lately, hackers and online pirates have been doubling their efforts to seize and share copyrighted material. Even if you are not a creator, you may wake up one day to find that your identity has been stolen! Business owners, creators, and average people can all be the victims of online infringement since the nefarious individuals behind this crime do not discriminate when choosing their targets. This begs the question: How can you protect yourself from online infringement? Here are 6 ways to do so.

1. Understand Online Infringement

If you want to protect yourself from anything, you need to fully understand it first. Real-life infringement is easy to spot. The online variety, on the other hand? Not so much. For this reason, you have to recognize the different types of online infringement. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of online infringement: impersonation and copyright breaches. When it comes to online copyright infringement, it involves stealing and sharing creative or advertising material that belongs to another individual or entity without asking for permission. On the other hand, online identity theft or impersonation entails stealing someone’s identity for illegal purposes, such as accessing their accounts, running scams in their name, or making profits by tricking their customers if they are running a business.

2. Hire a Lawyer

Navigating the legal aspect of online infringement might be overwhelming if you do not have the necessary background. This is why it is always recommended that you hire a lawyer. Internet lawyers, in particular, will be able to help you protect yourself from online infringement and get you out of any sticky situation if things go south. As expert internet attorneys explain on their website, counterfeit products, domain name disputes, and data licensing are all prevalent issues for the people who use the internet as a medium to conduct business. Such problems can be hard to solve without expert legal help, so consult an attorney to make sure that you are fully protected.

3. Use Watermarks

If you are on a budget, using watermarks is probably the best way to protect your creative material. This is especially the case for photographers or business owners who use specific logos. You do not have to go out of your way to add watermarks to your pictures, as there are many easy and free methods to do so. The easiest is to use Microsoft Word or Paint. If you want professional watermarks, however, you can either hire an expert or invest in high-quality software for sleek designs.

Copyright graphic with man pointing

Ignoring the importance of copyright laws is a huge pitfall. After all, how can you protect yourself from online infringement when you have not yet registered your business or creative material? By not doing so, all your creations, logos, and products will be considered public property. So, if someone decides to sell knockoff products that resemble yours or use your trademarks, you will not be able to take any legal action against them. Copyright laws differ from one country to another, so it is better to do your research and register your business or intellectual property right away.

5. Protect Your Website

If you have a website you use to conduct business, then the data and infographics on it can be stolen or compromised. To combat this, you can add an extra layer of security to it by encrypting the information on it. Moreover, restricting right clicks on images, videos, and other infographics can protect them from pirates. Since hackers and pirates are getting craftier, this method may not be foolproof, but it is better than nothing!

6. Beware of Identity Theft

Nothing is quite as bad as finding out that someone else has been impersonating you for weeks while you are none the wiser! Yet, by following some practices, you can eliminate the risk of online identity theft. For instance, checking your credit score to spot any abnormalities can go a long way towards protecting your identity. If you find any suspicious activity on your accounts, you can freeze your credit cards until you have sorted things out.

Online infringement is a real threat, but it can be avoided by employing a few simple methods. The above means of doing so can be a great resource for non-internet-savvy individuals. Regardless of how familiar you are with online safety practices, hiring a lawyer when in doubt is essential. So, don’t hesitate to reach out for expert legal help.