Many people starting out with their own website wonder how to protect their content from being stolen. In fact, there are no techniques that will protect you from this, but there are methods that can make it a little more difficult. The question is what are these methods and are they even worth bothering with?

Why block the ability to select and copy content?

The unauthorised copy-paste use of other people's content is a fairly common occurrence. All you have to do is go to a website, select a piece of text, copy it into memory and paste it anywhere else, e.g. into another website.

You can prevent content from being marked up and copied in a simple way, but if you get a more experienced person, you need to know that they will still be able to copy anything they want, be it from your site's source code or by using various tools that can copy virtually anything on your site.

As I mentioned earlier, there is no way to secure your content, you can only introduce certain difficulties that will allow you to block the activity of a narrow group of people.

How to prevent content selection using CSS

This method is very simple to implement. Just add a few lines of your own CSS code in the "Customize" section of your theme under "Additional CSS"

Theme Customisation section

Examples of the code you can paste here can be found in many places, the example we will use comes from Stackoverflow.

* {
-webkit-touch-callout: none; /* iOS Safari */
-webkit-user-select: none; /* Safari */
-khtml-user-select: none; /* Konqueror HTML */
-moz-user-select: none; /* Old versions of Firefox */
-ms-user-select: none; /* Internet Explorer/Edge */
user-select: none; /* Non-prefixed version, currently supported by Chrome, Opera and Firefox */

Custom CSS code to block content selection.

Save your changes (Publish) and check the effect. When you get to the front of your page, try highlighting any part of the text. This should not be possible.

Using a plug-in to lock the text selection

You can also use a plugin that, on the one hand, will block the ability to copy content and, on the other, will prevent you from saving images you have on your site (it will block the right mouse button).

The plug-in is called WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click. You will install it directly from the WordPress repository. If you don't know how to do it take a look at the article: "How to install the plug-in“.

Its configuration should not cause you any difficulties. You have several tabs at your disposal.

Setting up a plug-in for copy protection of page content

The main settings are to decide what you want to protect. Entries, Home and Pages. Additionally, here you can enter the message that will appear when someone tries to print the contents of your site.

Tab 2 allows you to decide whether to block the right mouse button.

Disabling the right mouse button

As before, you can specify which parts of your site will have the right key blocked. Entries, Home and Pages. Test how exactly this works on the front end of your site. The right mouse button won't bring up the context menu, and if you persistently click it, you'll get a content protection message like the screen below:

Message about protecting the content on the site from copying.

Tab no. 3 is protection using CSS, and the last one concerns settings if you are using this extension in the PRO version.

Is it worth it to protect website content in this way?

As I mentioned in the introduction, copying the content of your website is not a complicated operation. Even if you introduce the above hindrances, you will not be able to protect your content from people with even a little technical experience.

What does that mean? Nothing other than that it does not make much sense to introduce this type of mechanism. All you are really doing is adding extra code to your website, which is a kind of dummy that only makes it impossible for complete beginners to copy the content.

Remember also that not everyone who copies content from your site wants to steal it straight away. It may happen that they want to copy a fragment in order to share your article e.g. in social media or on their own website with a link to your article. In such a situation, if such a person does not have the opportunity to copy the text, he may refrain from sharing at your expense.

So what do I recommend? Short and concise. Do not block or install such gadgets. This will not protect you from content theft, and you may even harm yourself.


See also

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