These days if you want to have a successful business and attract more clients, it is essential to have a website or at least a social media account.
The worldwide web has given you the opportunity to be discovered, but it also gave ill-intentioned people the tools to live off your success.
Protecting your brand online can be overwhelming and if you don’t know where to start, here are three essential steps that you need to take.
Trademark and copyright
When you are starting a business or thinking about taking your business online, it would be wise to trademark it, even if it is not legally required in your country. Trademarking your brand will help you resolve any trademark disputes that might arise in the future.
Think of it as your legal safety cushion. It is also a good idea to put a copyright notice on your website. Start with the universally accepted copyright symbol – © – and the word “copyright”. You can use both or either of them at the beginning of your notice.
Then write the year, your name or the name of your brand and the phrase “All Rights Reserved”. It should look like this:
Copyright © 2019 Devon Michaels. All Rights Reserved.
Most businesses put this notice at the bottom of their website pages. This notice will let people know that your content is protected by the copyright.
Protect your domain
A website is one of the key elements in growing a successful business. Once you’ve come up with a catchy, unique and available brand name – which can also be tricky, considering that so many domain names have already been taken – it is time to register and buy your domain. If it is possible, buy as many main domains – such as .com, .co.uk and .eu – as you can.
This is necessary to avoid situations when someone else takes your brand name and creates a website on a free domain, that looks and feels like yours. For instance, you have a website t-clothes.com and it has been gaining more and more popularity.
You decide to google it and suddenly you find that there is a counterfeit website called t-clothes.eu. It looks exactly like yours, it has the same pictures, which are stolen from your website, but it is not run by you.
You know it. Your customers don’t. They think they are visiting your website and buying your products. This is called cybersquatting.
By doing this they will drive traffic away from your website and create a bad reputation for your brand by selling fake goods.
To avoid this, buy as many domains as you can when your brands start to grow, to protect it from this type of cyberattacks.
Watermark your content
Nowadays visual content is king. Simple, straightforward, attention-grabbing content is easier to digest for the majority of people, not to mention that for many brands publishing high-quality photos is an integral part of their business. However, visual content can easily be stolen.
The best way to make sure that people know it’s your content is to put a prominent watermark on it. Put your brand name and your logo in a place, where it cannot be easily removed. You don’t have to be a pro in photo editing, because watermarking is fairly easy.
For example, you can use Visual Watermark – a desktop batch-watermarking software that can process dozens of photos in a matter of seconds. It is very fast and simple to use: upload your photos, add a text and a logo, then edit your watermark.
The interface is uncluttered and straightforward, so you will master the process of creating a watermark in no time.
What if you don’t have a lot of photos to watermark and/or you don’t want to download and install anything on your computer? There are two online watermarking apps that you can use – Watermarkly and Make Watermark.
Both of them offer all the necessary tools to create a perfect and stylish watermark that will protect your images from being stolen. Either of these online batch-watermarking apps will be of great use and they work right in the browser!
Taking your business online is not only exciting, but it is a real trial and error journey. Protecting your business is just as important as developing it. You don’t want your hard work to be destroyed. However, if you take these three simple steps, you are already at a good start.