The toughest thing about being an artist and sharing your work online is where it may end up being shared without your consent. In a world where everything is a screen shot or a right click and save away, how do your protect your work from being stolen and used without your consent? How do you even begin to keep track of where it may end up? There's honestly not a 100% full proof way to prevent your work from being taken or used without your knowledge. You can try to watermark your work but a lot of times it can be removed with things like Photoshop you can try disclaimer messages but those often go ignored. I would recommend trying any prevention methods you can think of but some of the best things you can do are done after it has been taken and this is why monitoring your art work is very important. Here I will show you how you can monitor your artwork and file what is called a DMCA Complaint (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) when you find your work being used without your consent.
Please keep in mind I am not a lawyer so take this advice at your own risk. I will tell you my experience and how I personally went about protecting my work and getting it removed but that does not mean every situation you may face will have the same outcomes as mine.
What is a DMCA?:
A DMCA basically protects you as a content creator online whether you create art in the form of pictures, text, audio, or even video. You do not need to have a legally registered copyright to file a DMCA complaint but please only file it if there is a legitimate reason to. It is important that the work originated from you because you can get into legal trouble for filing false claims. Here I am going to show you the steps you need to take in order to properly file a claim and get your content removed from where it is being hosted.