As you’re getting started with Thinkific, you may have concerns about who will have access to your content, how safe it is against downloads and sharing, etc. This article will cover what settings we have in place, and recommendations to prevent sharing.
How Students Access Content
The first thing to note is that there is no way for anyone to gain access to your course without purchasing it. Content within Thinkific courses is not available for indexing by search engines, for example.
We take security very seriously and ensure that unauthorized users cannot access your courses - only students with active accounts are able to log in.
We also make it easy to prevent normal downloading of content in order to combat this type of issue. For example, when adding video, audio, and PDF content to your course, you’re able to choose whether a ‘Download’ button will be included in the Course Player. Right-click is also disabled within the course player for video lessons, so students are unable to right-click and save a video without your permission. We've also included a feature that prevents students from selecting and copying text within your course that you can enable.
How to Discourage Content Sharing
We have found that the overwhelming majority of people who will pay for access to an online course are honorable, and so content piracy is not something we’ve seen on our site specifically, but if this is of particular concern, we have some recommendations for discouraging unauthorized sharing of your content:
- Have a course that is made up of multiple types of media - having lots of types of content makes recreating the course experience next to impossible outside of our system (where you wouldn't be able to take quizzes or surveys, participate in discussions, navigate presentations, view your progress, etc.)
- Make your course experience include a significant discussion component - if a large part of the value of your course is discussion between other students and yourself, that can't be recreated even by getting a hold of videos, for example.
- Watermark your videos and PDFs - add a watermark to your video and PDF content (that includes your logo, copyright statement, etc.) in a place that makes it hard to remove.
- Enable and customize copyright messaging in your Site Footer - by default, there will be copyright messaging in your footer formatted as Copyright School Name Year. Edit and add to this messaging to remind site visitors of your copyright.
Please be assured that we do take every possible step to protect your content on Thinkific. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch.