When you think of online security, you might think about spammers, hackers, personal information being exposed, and in a way, you would be right. There is a lot to be learned about the best practices for securing and protecting online information.
However, in this article, we’re going to talk about auto part data security in the sense of what digital assets you can use, and which ones are off limits, as well as how to protect your own images and content. We’ll break down things like digital watermarks and copy protection laws to help you gain a better understanding of the right methods to use when incorporating elements like photography and videos. Obviously, this is an extremely important topic with your custom turnkey eCommerce shopping cart solution.
Know what you’re protecting and what is being protected from you
When you’re gathering complex auto data, you’re looking for images, product specs, descriptions, price, fitment attributes, and beyond. And you’re searching for the highest quality and most informative data possible. So it can be easy to want to grab a clear image from a different website to put in your e-commerce store or use a video you found that focuses exactly on what you’re trying to showcase about the part.
This is when you should stop cold because there is more to it than locating and immediately sticking the content on the site.
It can seem that the web is all about sharing, and the lines are blurred about what you can use and what you can't. However, over time, some of those lines have become more refined, and people have started protecting their auto part data a little more carefully.
They protect everything from images to videos to unique descriptions, and the reasons are endless. While some manufacturers will freely share their quality images with everyone, others will only authorize them for certain dealers. And it's important you know the difference, or you could have a legal mess on your hands.
In the same vein, if you create tutorials for your customers, you would be pretty upset if you found a competing e-commerce store using them to help sell products.
People protect their auto part data because they don't want competitors to give the illusion that they are the primary source of the information. Some don't want it to be misused and taken out of context without their knowledge, and in other cases, they just want to be compensated and recognized.
Now that you have a better idea of the type of auto data security we're talking about and the kind of data that is being protected, let's jump into the different aspects of it.
When it comes to the images, descriptions, and videos you use to sell your products, be aware that copy protection is unique, and each situation can vary the interpretation of the law.
Many people turn to "fair use" when using images and content for their websites, but this is mainly for those that are applying the content for non-profit reasons such as teaching and reporting the news. Because online copy protection deals with fast-paced technology, the laws are still being developed, and it's hard to predict the outcome.
The best practices are to find auto part data sources that give written permission on their website, or you can provide credit to the source like tech.co did here:
However, giving credit isn’t always going to be effective and doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. Your best bet is to simply ask permission by making a phone call or sending an email. You’ll also have the option of paying for auto part images and stock photos that you’ll have more rights too.
You can take pictures of the product yourself, but this can be expensive for an e-commerce store owner depending on your access to the auto parts, and the cost of a photographer. However, if you have one or two items that you can't find quality images for, then focus on those select parts first and see if you like the results.
If you do have unique videos, images, and descriptive text on your e-commerce store, then make sure you have a visible copyright symbol on your site like this © or you have the word written out. This will show people that you’re the owner of the copyright and the content on the website. Here’s what it looks like on WayFair.
A digital watermark makes it harder for people to copy images because it is embedding in the picture or video, and it's easier to track when someone posts it online. It sends a clear signal to the person who is about to copy the data to rethink their decision.
You can add digital watermarks to your own images and videos by hiring a company to do it, or you can learn to use the technology yourself. And if you see an image that you want to use that has a watermark, then ask the source for permission. If they say no, then it's time to move on to the next option.
Here’s an example from Byte Scout of what a digital watermark will look like on an image or video:
Now, there are many variations of digital watermarks, and some aren’t as straightforward as this, so always pay close attention. And when in doubt, don’t use the image or video.
Once you’ve secured your auto part data, then you’ll be ready to put it to good use. Optimize your descriptive text by incorporating the most searched keywords for the part.
If you aren't optimizing your images and videos, then you've been missing out on a huge opportunity to gain some new traffic to your e-commerce store. Search engines can't see that you have an image of a spark plug on your site, so you have to tell them.
Also, remember that the lower your bounce rate is, the higher your e-commerce store will be ranked, and when you have well-written photo and video captions then you'll not only help people find you, but you'll entice them to stick around.
Want more places to find quality images, videos, and product descriptions? Check us out next time for our post about finding and applying unique data sources.
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