5 Top Ways to Protect Your Paid Digital Products From Illegal Sharing

The Problems Of Having Unprotected Thank-You Pages And Download Links

If your business involves selling of digital products, then you would need to know all you can about protecting your download links. Otherwise, you would find that your customers would by-pass paying you and download your product free of cost causing you immense loss.

What you should have is a secured and encrypted link which should have a definite expiry date so the customer would have to use it immediately to download your product or get the purchased download within specified period of time (e.g. 72 hours). In this way, you can protect your product from:

a) Illegal sharing between buyers

b) Search engines finding the files and indexing them

c) People finding your thank-you page with all links to download your product

Unprotected Thank-You Pages And Download Links Equals To Loss

There are many ways that could drain your profits when you have your digital products unprotected. Though not every customer would be out to “cheat” you, most people would be delighted to get the product without payment. Some dangers you would prevent

1. Search engine transparency – it is easy to see your products through the search engine and therefore make it available to people to download “legally”. They would never know they are stealing and you would not know you are losing money. Search engines crawl and index everything – ebook (pdf) files, software products and even the videos.

2. Download sharing – you send one link and your customer could have it up for free or sell it themselves even if it had a limited time cap. In order to prevent that, you would need to limit the number of downloads as well. Say, you could have it valid for two hours and four download attempts. The customer should be informed about the security measures much before you send the link so they would be prepared for it. If a download time or limit expires and customer tells that and asks for files to download, you can easily ask that customer to provide the proof of a purchase.

3. The Thank You Page Vulnerability – this is the simplest way of hacking for a digital product. You get through the unprotected thank you page, get the url and download it without any problem. You need to put a download guard in place which would check whether payment was made before permitting access to the e-book or any other digital product you have.

How to Protect Your Ebooks, Software and Other Files? What Are The Alternatives?

Alternatively you could take the following measures:

1. Constantly change the download site/domain.

2. Change the page from where the download needs to be done at regular intervals

3. Take the help of encryption to prevent right click copying and exposure of source code

4. Search engines scan only two levels down your domain; try keeping your downloadable product three or four levels down – for example, [http://www.mydomain/directortyA/directoryB/sub-directoryC/mydownload] file

5. Set your e-books in pdf format as these offer you password and protected web location

There are more of these alternatives, however they are hard to implement and not so effective as they sound. The best way to prevent such theft would be to install a very effective download guard. There are software programs that allows you to protect all your downloadable products. However, the problem is that such software costs money, e.g. $60 and might take some time to have everything working correctly, so there are better free ways to protect and sell your products online.