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How to Protect your Digital Products from being Stolen?

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in Articles by BouncyOracle
How to Protect your Digital Products from being Stolen?

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commented by Richard S.
So you are a business owner now and your selling top of the line digital information products direct from your very own website. You invested thousands in the right products, hundreds in a server with a lot of bandwidth, your customers are flowing but your bandwidth is too high for the amount of customers that your getting! Suddenly your host stops all access to your site as you have reached your bandwidth limit and you must pay for more. Sound familiar? This is my story.....

Online businesses are sooo easy to set up, making money is the hard part. Online criminals dont know that part yet but what they do know is how to get hold of your products that YOU paid for for nothing! How? By stealing them from right under your nose direct from your server.

Online serveys conducted show that around 40% of digital products are stolen or bootleg copies. Pirates and theives know the detailed ways in which to get to that copy of your ebook and make it work for them, sometimes outselling you completely even if you are the sole resale rights holder!

So how can you stop this from happening to you?
Protect your products with digital security.
Disguise your download links
Set your links to expire or only activate with your customers details.
Place them in a secure members area so if they are found they cannot be accessed.

Now all of these have various strengths and weaknesses and some I just refunse to use as I feel that downgrade your site's look and appeal.
Lets take disguising your download links - this is the single best way of stopping theft of your products direct from your website. There are tons of scripts around online that can handle this task and many of they very well, but what happens after the sale when the report is passed around or the customer asks for a refund?

Set your links to expire or to your customers email address, or placing them into a secure members area. These again do well at hiding the products but do nothing about securing them after the sale has gone through.

So the only real option is to offer some sort of digital protection for the products. There are various systems around online that offer this servie for a monthly subscription but are you sure that your products warrant it?
I have seen people paying $30 a month to protect a $4 ebook from being stolen or used elsewhere, that to me is not practical.
But if you hold an inventory of hundreds of good quality ebooks and software that you are not offering with resale rights then maybe digital protection is what you need.

The digital locking systems that I have seen get you signed up as a paying member to use their software. Once signed up you can download the locking software and lock a file at a time. You place the details of the file into the site and then direct customers to the link that the site creates for you. Once your customer pays they see the link to the locking software site and click it.

The customer is taken to a page that requests their details in exchange for their personal unlocking code and then they are passed to the download or thankyou page on your server. Once downloaded the file is opened and imediatly a request appears from the locked file for a password. If the password is correct the file talks to the locking site and varifies it and then unlocks the file. If the password is incorrect the user is refused access.

Now comes the sweet part to these softwares, if you give a customer a refund then you can actually remotly lock their product again or delete their lisence alltogether. The software I have seen works on an IP tracking basis which means that all IP addresses that access the product are logged in the locking sites database for the seller to see and act on.
Lets say that the seller sells an item to 'Joe', 'Joe' passes the file on to 'Pete' without permission who then sends it to 'Fred' 'Paul' and 'William'. All of their IP addresses are logged and the seller can see that the file had been accessed x amount of times by 5 seperate IP addresses and closes the code down for 'Joe' who gets an automated email explaining that his code is now invalid and that to reactivate it he must contact the seller for advice....  Ahhhh the theif now has to contact you and ask why he is in trouble.

These systems are very very powerfull and put the seller back in charge of their products instead of the thieves.
To see such a system please take a visit to <a href="www.e-protect.co.uk">www.e-protect.co.uk</a>

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