If you’ve created a digital product such as an e-book, video, audio or even software, you know what a great feeling of accomplishment it is to complete it and share it with the world.
Okay, now when I say “share”, I’m not talking about sticking it out on some torrent site, I’m talkin’ making it available to your customers at a fair price.
After all, It’s not likely that you got into the game of internet business to be a non-profit organization.
Most anyone whose ‘been around the block’ in the world of the internet are familiar with all the websites out there hosting links to free software, e-books and everything else that’s been pilfered, or eh “shared” for all to get their mits onto.
So how do we as product creators protect our creations that we’ve poured our heart and soul into? Well firstly, there’s always going to be somebody sharing some of your stuff no matter how hard you try.
In fact, if you take it too personally, you’ll spend all your time obsessing and not enough time creating & selling. Those people weren’t going to buy from you anyway, and the more honest ones will usually buy your product if its useful to them.
With that said, we want to keep product theft down to an absolute minimum. Here are a few Do’s & Don’ts for protecting your products.
Use a robots.txt file to point to your directory.
One common mistake beginners usually make is to specify their unprotected download folder in the robots.txt file hoping to avoid having their download page listed in the search engines. This is the first place an experienced file thief will look.
Using obvious names for your directories & thank-you pages
Creating directory names like ‘download’ are a dead give-away. So is naming your thank-you page ‘thankyou.html’. Naming the download file after your product name is pretty dumb too. These things make it super easy to have your stuff found.
Stick your product inside an empty folder without an index page.
This makes it pretty simple to do a Google search for an intitle text for “Index.Of” on your website and get a hit. Put an index.html (or .php) in the folder that is either blank, or redirecting the visitor back to your main URL.
Include your filename or product name in your download link
Another give away for hackers. A simple inurl search can expose your download link.
Use a third party protection software
For my products, I use DLGuard (Download Guard). DLGuard is an excellent way to protect your digital products from would be thieves. You can limit your downloads as well. I have mine setup for 72 hours normally. DLGuard works as a membership site module as well. This is top notch software & I highly recommend it.
Use a hosted solution such as e-junkie
E-Junkie is an excellent digital delivery system for your digital downloads. This is a great alternative to self-hosting your own solution, and you can get started right now at a mere $5 a month!
Password protect your download folder
You can password protect your download folder or make it forbidden from being viewed. An easy way to do make it not viewable is to CHMOD the folder to 751 using your FTP client. You can password protect your folders as well by using .htaccess & .htpassword. If you’re a little tech savvy and want to try this, you can see the tutorial here.
Email the download as an attachment
Another free alternative is to simply email the download as an attachment to your customer. You should note however, that email is not the most reliable way to deliver a product. Your email may not get delivered for a number of reasons (inbox full, flagged as spam, etc), and you could have some freaked out customers with a bad first impression of your products.
If you haven’t implemented any of these or other security measures for protecting your info products, you could be losing a lot of revenue. Don’t leave your products sitting on the virtual shelf with a sign on them crying “Steal Me!!!”
Take measures now to protect your products. It only takes a minimal effort or expense which will pay for itself over and over again. It’s one of the single best investments you can make in your business.