Travel companies are being warned to harden their websites to protect their branding and images from theft.

In the 13th part of an email campaign by Prevention of Fraud in Travel (Profit) and the Fraud Intelligence Network (Fin) with the City of London Police, the group has suggested a number of ways that firms can make it more difficult for fraudsters to steal web content.

The Counter Fraud 2019 Campaign urges firms to add a digital millennium copyright act services badge (DMCA) to their websites, which will inform them if someone steals a web page and ensures the stolen pages are taken down for free.

Firms can also use Google Alerts, a free service, to monitor the occurrences of key terms such as their brand name, Atol or Abta membership number, from being used online. Every time the key words are used, Google Alerts will send an email to let the company know.

The campaign advises travel firms to disable the capability for users to save images by right-clicking on them. “While it’s still easy enough to download images in other ways, if you disable this capability, you’ll put off less web-savvy image thieves and people who can’t be bothered with the hassle of looking at your HTML or searching the browser cache,” it added.

To stop criminals from copying text such terms and conditions, flight and resort descriptions and contact details, it suggests converting this information to a gif, jpeg or png file. This makes it harder for fraudsters to edit out a company’s branding.

Companies can also add a watermark to protect web images from theft, which could include a copyright symbol with the company’s name or web address, while digital fingerprinting can be used to track and control what happens to images.