How do I protect my TPT previews from being stolen
I am concerned about people being able to download and take my products for free, based on my previews. How do I make sure my previews are protected?
The right frame of mind
Before we dive into the details of protecting your previews, it’s important that you view it with the right frame of mind.
The number one job of your preview, is to help you sell your product. It’s for the buyer to look more closely at your product. It’s there to answer the main question a buyer might have: What is included? What does a typical page in the product look like? Does it meet my classroom need right now?
Secondly, there is no such thing as a 100% secure digital product. The major software companies have spent billions of dollar to reduce the amount of theft, but it still happens.
However, you still want to make it difficult for anyone to steal your work. They should be asking themselves, is it really worth all this trouble? There are steps you can take to make this happen.
Collage, full product with watermark or photos of product?
The type of preview you choose to create. Whether it is collages, full product previews with watermarks, photos of printed product pages, which one you choose is probably a bit more of a personal preference. It also depends on the type product you are trying to sell.
Strategies to make your preview more secure
Collage Put a watermark across your pages and flatten it
If the preview is a PDF, secure it Software such as Adobe Pro, Flat Pack and the like allow you to set restrictions on your PDF. “Do not allow copy” and “Prevent Printing” are good default settings to set for a preview.
Keep on creating
I would not drive myself crazy over those things. There will always be those that will try and steal no matter what you do. You have done what you can to prevent it (secured, flattened, added watermarks and sometimes in collage). If you have a good product, accompanied with a good preview, many teachers will buy it. And we have seen over the years that teachers do, otherwise there wouldn’t be a TpT at all.
But, is it really secure?
The harder a product is to steal, the less motivated people will be to steal it.
The main mistake I see some sellers making is that they will upload their entire product in the preview with a watermark that is not flattened. Make it not worth their effort to steal your work.
None of the above makes it a 100% secure. There are ways around all of the steps mentioned above. It’s just that someone who wants to steal from a preview would have to go through considerable effort to make it look good again. They would have to decrypt the PDF (this is relatively easy). Remove the watermarks (preview text): there is software to do this, but after removing the watermark, you will have to piece certain things back together. Some of the products are editable or animated in the PPT, so they would have to be basically re-creating most of the product. I would be asking myself, is it really worth it for them?