WARNING: Are Your Products Being Stolen ?
by Greg Spence ©2002
Everyday thousands of dollars worth of digital products are being downloaded for free without anyone knowing!
By digital products I am referring to any product that can be downloaded from a web site such as e-Books, software, reports, etc.
The huge increase in the sale of digital products on the internet has led to the need for web site owners to be more vigilant about security.
Many people new to the internet are attracted by the huge profits that can be made selling digital products. Usually the sale of such items involves a visitor clicking on an order link, filling out a form with their credit card details and, once their payment has been approved, being redirected to a download page where the product they have just purchased can be immediately accessed.
I do not wish to cause a major panic amongst the online community but I have discovered several ways in which products sold online can be downloaded without being paid for.
What's more, there are people searching for these security loopholes so that they can download valuable e-Books and software without paying for them.
I have come across this phenomenon with my own sales web sites, where I have come across people searching for web pages that include download in their name, or trying various combinations of web page names to try and find my products.
This article highlights the areas being targeted by unscrupulous web site visitors when they visit your web site trying to find products to download for free.
Your products may be stolen without you knowing today, reducing your sales revenue and profit.
At the end of this article I will give you details where you can get yourself a comprehensive report that shows you step-by-step how unscrupulous visitors may be downloading your digital products for free and how you can prevent this from happening on your website.
THE FIVE PLACES YOU MAY BE EXPOSED
Problem #1 - Search Engines
Your product download pages may have been indexed by the major search engines even if they are not apparently linked to your main sales page.
You may think this is not possible . . . how wrong you are.
When I was researching this topic I was able to find two pages where I could have downloaded products for free this way!
Problem #2 - Paypal
If you are using Paypal to handle the payments for your products you are inadvertently inviting your web site visitors to your download page without paying you first!
The reason for this is that you have to include your product download page as part of your Paypal order link in your HTML.
There is a simple and effective way of resolving this problem and still use Paypal (after all they provide an excellent service). I will show you where you can find out how to solve this problem a little later.
Problem #3 - Thieves Don't Need to Know The Name Of Your Download Page
You may feel that because you have placed your product downloads in a separate directory you are safe.
Unfortunately this is not necessarily the case. It is possible to list the contents of a web site directory directly from any web browser. A thief could then see your product download files and just...well...download them.
Problem #4 - Your Recommend A Friend Feature May Be Losing You Traffic
A growing trend on web sites is the use of a recommend a friend script to encourage visitors to recommend your web site to typically five of their friends, who in turn recommend to five of theirs, and so on.
A common accepted practice is to give away valuable free gifts to encourage people to come up with five email addresses and increase your web site traffic and hopefully product sales.
Whilst this system in theory can generate some traffic, the system can also be abused by allowing the would-be thief to get your free gift without providing you with any email addresses.
You, therefore, not only lose potentially valuable traffic, but also your free gift gets downloaded for nothing in return.
Problem #5 - Your Affiliate Commissions Can Be Hijacked
With the incredible success of affiliate programs as a source of income, so too comes the possibility of abuse and theft of your affiliate commissions.
It has been well documented that ClickBank affiliates are particularly at risk. A person visits your web site, sees a product they are interested in buying and replaces your ClickBank nickname with their own. They then get the commission when they purchase the product.
In fact it is not just ClickBank users who are losing commissions this way. Any affiliate link can be modified quickly and easily effectively losing you valuable commissions.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Each of these 5 areas can cause a potential loss of profit that you would find very hard to detect. If you are concerned about any of the areas I have highlighted in this article I suggest you get hold of my comprehensive report entitled
"WARNING: Your Products May Be Being Stolen".
This report is available from:
It contains a step-by-step description of how a thief can steal your products using each of the techniques I described above and shows you how to protect yourself from these problems quickly, easily and effectively.
Go protect your profit.
Thanks for reading.
About the Author
Greg Spence is an author and authority on computer
technology and the internet. He has spent more than six
years online and written several books and technical
articles about the internet and internet technology.
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