Why it is important to protect your products form online piracy

The internet has helped society expand communication and information access to millions of people across the world. However, ever since the internet has become open to commercial and personal use, hackers and viruses have capitalized on computer networks with lacking defenses to cause havoc and steal information. As more and more businesses began to put their proprietary software and products online, the more hackers began launching a form of theft called internet piracy. Its important to understand what internet piracy and why its important to protect personal property from becoming pirated.

Internet piracy refers to the unlawful reproduction and distribution of copyrighted materials online. Hackers can capture and replicate everything from complex software to entertainment files, like MP3s, and distribute these files online for free or for a price. Many lay people may remember how the advent of online music helped spawn an era where record labels had to litigate against individual holders of copyrighted infringed MP3 files. This is an example of internet piracy, however, its arguably not the worst kind out there.

Some of the most profitable forms of internet piracy revolve around the use of proprietary software from companies. Hackers are able to take the software from businesses and provide this software for free or for a charge. Many hackers are part of larger businesses that make their profits providing pirated software to vendors or individuals. These businesses conduct all their advertising and commerce online, making it difficult for authorities to find these individuals in the flesh.

What makes internet piracy such a problem is that many individual consumers end up participating in internet piracy without even knowing it. Some of the businesses that sell pirated software do such a good job creating authentic websites that the typical lay person may unknowingly purchase and be using pirated software. This can pose a potential threat for some consumers. Some businesses that profit over pirated software could place malware and viruses in the software, putting many consumer’s computers in danger. At the same time, vendors who provide the authentic software to consumers lose money since their software has been pirated and distributed across the internet. Many up-and-coming firms that want to sell their software to businesses or consumers can be financially devastated by their software pirated.

Although consumers can become more cognizant of where their software comes from and help to choose original software over pirated software, the fact that a business or programmer’s software has been pirated puts that entity in a tough spot. With the essential coding and information related to that software now out in the open, that programmer and business has suddenly lost control over what they own. It is why it is essential for any amateur programmer or small business to put in as much protections as possible for their software.

There is no perfect protection system for all software, but by not putting in as many protections as possible into one’s software, businesses and programmers will face larger risks with their software being pirated. Investments in specific programming coding and licensing will help to track software sales and software activation. Other forms of protection, such as encryption, makes it very difficult for hackers to replicate the software for themselves.

Although these may seem like costs, no programmer or business should go without properly protecting their software from theft. Internet piracy has become its own business and it helps distribute pirated material across the world. It is important to not let one’s work become pirated and its best to invest in safeguards that can minimize the chance someone’s work becomes someone else’s profit.

Wix.com App announcement

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What is Domain Name hijacking or theft

Domain name hijacking

Domain hijacking is the act of changing a domain name’s registration without the permission of the person who originally registered it. This is a problem that has become more prevalent as the Internet has grown in popularity. Many businesses have had to deal with this issue in recent years.

domain-name

What impact can domain hijacking have on a business?

The act of domain hijacking has the potential to devastate the company that originally held the domain name. This is especially true if the original company conducted their business through the email accounts associated with the domain or derived commercial income from a website that was hosted at the domain. In addition to this, the person who hijacked the domain can then start to use the domain name to do phishing. This is an illegal activity where criminals will create a fake website that looks exactly like a website that already exists. Users are then tricked into thinking that they are on the real website. When the users enter their passwords and other log-in information, they are instantly obtained by the criminal. They can then use this personal information to steal money and commit various crimes.

Description

There are several ways by which domain hijacking can be accomplished. It is usually done through social engineering or exploiting a vulnerability in the domain name registration system. Impersonating the original owner of the domain by using personal information the hijacker has acquired is the most common method that is used to hijack a domain. They will then use this personal information in an attempt to trick the domain registrar into transferring the domain to a different registrar and/or modify the registration information. This is a form of identity theft. If the hijacker successfully accomplishes this, he will have complete control over the domain. He can then sell it to a third party or use it for his own criminal activities.

Once a hijacking has been discovered, the responses to it tend to vary. The registrar is sometimes able to return the registration to its original state. However, if the domain name was transferred to a different registrar, this can prove to be difficult. This is especially true if the registrar is in a different country. There have been many cases where the original owner of the domain has not been able to regain control over a domain that was hijacked.

How it can be prevented

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires that there must be a waiting period of 60 days between the time that the registration information is changed and when it is transferred to a different registrar. By doing this, the process of hijacking a domain becomes a tougher task. This is because there is a good possibility that the original registrant will notice the problem during the 60-day window and alert the authorities about the issue. A domain that has been transferred is also a lot harder to reclaim. This is another reason that this method reduces the risk of domain hijacking.
It is also important to keep your email address safe. Change your password often and setup additional security features such as 2 step verification from Google. Another good thing is domain name privacy tool, this will make harder to obtain your personal and contact information. You can also consider using Domain Name Protection plan to decrease chances that you would loose your domain name. And remember that none of those advices would work if you let criminals to access domain name on your own, so be vigilant and do not tell you personal information to anyone you meet online.

Why do you need to protect your content

In the online business world, content is king. Those who produce the best content that offers the most value will always build a bigger audience, earn more trust, and make more money. This means that content must be unique.

Valuable and unique content takes effort, expertise and it takes time to produce. The benefits of producing unique work far outweigh any costs. Here is why.

Audience Appreciation

The online space is growing more crowded by the day. While more and more people start blogs and websites, most niches are dominated by a handful of authority destinations. In the tech world, this means Mashable, or The Verge.

These sites produce large amounts of unique content on a day to day basis. The appeal for smaller sites is to simply copy what the authority sites are doing. This is a mistake. An audience will pick up on the plagiarism and move along to a more trusted source.

Earning Trust

Having unique content with a unique perspective will earn trust both from search engines and people. Search engines have evolved to devalue and penalize sites that plagiarize others.

People won’t trust a site that is nothing more than a ripoff of other sites with more clout. While quoting and citing other sources is fine, the work still needs to add value and be unique in its own way.

Consistently giving visitors new information, or a new perspective on existing information, will develop trust and authority.

Follow The Money

As internet users become more savvy, they are buying more from fewer vendors. If visitors notice that a site is a copy of another, they will be hesitant to buy. This is in line with the trust factor discussed above.

Loyal readers who get a unique and valuable perspective will be more likely to buy, and they will be more likely to make recommendations to their social circles and other acquaintances.

How To Protect Yourself

The downside to producing unique work is that others may try to copy it. The perils of copying content have already been discussed, but it is important to discuss how to prevent this on your own sites.

While disabling the ability to right-click on your site may be appealing, it is often annoying to users. A better option is to ensure that if someone does steal your content, you get credit for it.

WordPress users can install the WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast. This adds a link in the footer of every post in an RSS feed, which links back to the site and the post. Others can find useful different content protection services to keep their content safe.

Along these lines, it is also important to implement Google Authorship markup to blog posts to claim work before it has a chance to be stolen. This is also handled by Yoast’s plugin.

Finally, if a particularly egregious theft of your content has taken place, it may be time to issue a DMCA take down notice. This needs to be done by someone authorized to make claims on behalf of the site and it also must include:

  • Identification of the infringed upon work
  • Identification of the work that has been infringed upon, as well information to enable a service provider to find the work that has been stolen
  • Enough information for the service provider to contact the content thief
  • A statement made in good faith that the thief of your content is not authorized to use it
  • A statement that the claim is accurate, and that the person making the claim is authorized to do so. This is important, as a perjury charge may be made if this is not true

Produce Great Work And Protect It

Taking the time and effort to produce quality and unique content is worth it. Don’t let someone else take your work. Protect that effort with available resources and reap the rewards.

Video tutorial: How to send a DMCA takedown notice

This is our first post this year, so we wanted to thank you for staying wit us all this time and share something with you. As most of you probably know our team spends a few hours every day providing free consultations and answering your questions. From now on we decided to create video tutorial to answer most popular questions. Meet our first video that explains how to send a DMCA takedown notice! You can leave your requests for the next video as well as your feedback here in comments or using our contact form. Enjoy!

Domain Hijacking: How Thieves Steal Your Online Identity

One of the more unpleasant aspects of the online world has to do with theft. The worst type of theft committed online is that of domain hijacking. Domain hijacking is the act of changing a website’s registration details illegally, or without the permission of the current registrant. Knowing the ways domain hijackers operate can help website owners to protect their domain names and the hard work that goes into developing a website around them.

Social Engineering

One of the most popular ways to steal a domain name is through what is called “social engineering”. This can apply to a number of cyber situations, but in the case of domain theft, it is when a person acts as an impostor to communicate with a registrar and change the registration details.

Registrars should have security protocols in place to prevent this, but a determine cyber thief may be able to get around the more lax operations.

Lapsed Emails

A lapsed email a registrant has used with a registrar may be re-registered and used to reset a password. The hijacker can then go into the registrant’s account to change the details of their domain names.

This is less likely, but still a concern. Keeping contact details up to date should be a major priority for anyone holding valuable domain names.

Hacking and Spyware

Hackers can either target the registrar itself if the security is lax, or they can go after the registrant’s email address to find the information. Some email addresses have had vulnerabilities exploited, leading to some rather serious cases of domain hijacking, along with some registrars as well.

Spyware installed on a registrant’s computer can also harvest important log in details which can be used to access email addresses and registrar accounts to change registration details.

Domain Sniping

While not technically illegal, domain sniping is commonly associated with domain hijacking. All domains expire after a certain amount of time. Some hijackers will keep an eye on registration details, and if it has not renewed, may use software scripts to register the domain the instant it is available.

While not illegal, it is in a grey area of sorts as far as ethics goes.

Reverse Domain Hijacking

Reverse hijacking occurs when a trademark holder accuses a registrant of cybersquatting in order to force them into giving up a domain name to avoid litigation. In these cases, a trademark owner may not have a right to the domain, but knowing that the current owner is unlikely to have the resources to contest the claim, they issue the cybersquatting complaint as a strong arm tactic.

Each of these approaches can completely wipe out the hard work a website owner has put into acquiring a domain and building a business. Take the necessary precautions to safeguard your domains, their information, and the businesses that they help to power. Do not forger to change your passwords often and protect your email address as well as your computer.

Why should you protect unique content?

More and more, the business environment of the Internet is resembling a schoolyard. If you can imagine a teacher accosting you to refrain from letting buddies cheat from your paper on an important test, you actually have a notion of what search engines and social media hubs are doing to businesses today.
However, the consequences for allowing your material to be stolen in the unforgiving, Darwinian online business environment are much more severe than an F on a paper. Below are just a few of the reasons that you should hold on to your proprietary content like Coke holds on to its secret cola recipe.

One – The major search engines will penalize your website if it finds that your content has been duplicated elsewhere.

In an effort to bring the most effective search engine results to its constituents, the major search engines punish websites that copy content. It does not matter if your website was the original content creators; the search engines sometimes do not detect the publishing date correct which leads to misunderstanding what website actually created the content and what website copied it.

This means that you can be penalized if someone takes your content and uses it as their own. Make sure that you look over your content and protected so that it cannot be stolen without repercussions.

Two – You will receive lower rankings in search engines and you may be blacklisted if plagiarism happens a great deal.

The major search engines may actually blacklist a website that has a great deal of copy content. This means that if your content is copied by numerous people, you may actually suffer the consequences instead of them.
Even if your site is not blacklisted, you will receive lower rankings in the major search engines if your content is constantly copy. Make sure the protect your content so that you do not have to deal with the repercussions of having your website plagiarized.

Three – Duplicated content negatively impacts on your visitor’s trust. They will not know whether you are the content creator or the website with plagiarized content.

If your content is constantly copied over the Internet, you will lose a great deal of trust from your fan base. They have no way of knowing if you are the content creator or if the website plagiarized you is the actual original creator of the content. Most people won’t share untrusted website on with their friends or add a link to your website on their page in social media.
This also has repercussions in the search engines. If your bounce rate is high, the search engines will assume that your website is not relevant to the topics on which you speak. You will receive lower rankings in the major search engines as a result.

Those are just a few reasons why you should consider to keep your content safe. No one know how search engine algorithm is actually working, but one thing we can tell for sure – unique content is a great advantage.

How to Protect Your Photos, Videos and Other Content on Facebook

Despite Facebook’s role as the default sharing portal, many are unaware of the lurking dangers associated with posting published content on its Pages. Whether you’re interested in protecting your privacy or avoiding content thieves who steal your photos and videos without attribution, you need to remain vigilant. Web scraping has become a very real problem in recent years, as the technology to do so has become ever more user-friendly and effective. Your content defines who you are online and is worth protecting. Fortunately, there are some easy steps that you can take to safeguard your privacy and content on Facebook.

Using the Built-In Privacy Features

Facebook comes with plenty of default privacy features that make securing your content pretty easy. Despite Facebook’s spotty privacy record, they’ve taken user concerns seriously as of late. Their About Copyright page makes their stance on Intellectual Property rights quite clear. When you upload content to Facebook, they automatically shrink and optimize the resolution to fit into any given Page and to conserve storage space. You can edit your sharing options by going to your privacy settings and clicking on Sharing on Facebook. Next, hit up the Customize button and lock down access in the Things I Share tab.

 

Using Watermark Apps

Keeping your content within an even higher Walled Garden is all well and good, but it doesn’t help you if you want a wide audience to sample your content. Aside from the usage of Facebook’s decent privacy features, another highly effective way to prevent content theft is through watermarking your photos. Services like PicMarkr allow you to easily watermark your pictures before uploading them. For videos, you can always use Windows Movie Maker to watermark your footage or rely on a web-based service like Video Watermark Factory. Alternatively, Mac users can use a tool like VideoMark to do the same thing.

Obscuring the Source Content

While Facebook typically shrinks your visual content to deter theft and save space, you can go the extra mile and really stymie the web scrapers. Before you upload content, make sure that you optimize your media so that its value is low for potential copyright pirates. Use Photoshop to resize your content prior to uploading it. Make it reasonably large so that viewers don’t suffer from an inferior experience but small enough so that it’s not a tempting target. For photos, the JPEG format is preferable to the PNG container, as the latter can be resized.

Going on the Offensive

If all of these measures fail and the content theft that you experience becomes particularly egregious, you’ll need to get aggressive. Use Intellectual Property protection services to identify stolen content, then issue a DMCA takedown notice. Another effective deterrent is reputation-based. Take to the digital streets and expose the thieves for what they are via your blog, your website, your Facebook Page and your Twitter account. You wouldn’t be the first to do so, and your overall web clout could take a hit if you don’t stick up for yourself.

The Last Word

A common saying states that trying to get something off of the Internet is like trying to get urine out of a swimming pool. The only way to avoid having your Pages scraped and be 100% sure that no ne’er-do-wells steal your content is to not post it in the first place. If something isn’t meant for public consumption, keep it in your vault until you’re ready for it to be seen. At the very least, the tips we covered in the preceding paragraphs should give you the upper hand against content thieves in the short term.

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How To Send a DMCA Takedown Notice To Google

It can be frustrating and infuriating to find that someone else has stolen your original content and repurposed it as their own online. Intellectual property theft must be swiftly addressed to keep it from adversely affecting your own web presence and search engine results. Sending a polite note to the webmaster of the infringing site and asking them to remove your content is a good start, but if that doesn’t work, it’s time to send a DMCA takedown notice to Google.

A DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice is simply a notice to Google that they are indexing content that infringes your copyright. To streamline the process, Google provides an interactive tool to use in sending takedown notices for all Google products. (If your content has been placed on YouTube there is a separate tool to use, also available on that page.) In order to file a takedown notice, you need a Google Account, but these are free and simple to obtain.

In most cases of infringement, you’ll start by selecting “Web Search” in the first box. In the second box, select “I have a legal issue that is not mentioned above.” This opens a third box, where you can select “I have found content that may violate my copyright.” The tool will verify that you are the copyright holder or authorized to speak for them, then it will take you to the form itself.

Once you reach the notice form, it is merely a matter of providing all the information Google needs to investigate and verify the infringement. You’ll be asked to describe your copyrighted content, and to provide a link to a place online where it appears legally (your own website, for instance). In the next box, you’ll provide the URL or URLs where your work is being pirated. If you have multiple works being infringed, you can use one form for all of them by selecting the “Add New Group” option, for up to ten separate copyrighted works.

Finally, you’ll be asked to swear to the truth of what you’ve provided, then digitally sign and date the form. Make sure that you have filled in every box and provided as much information as possible, to ensure that Google can process the notice. If you can’t use the online form, you can fax or mail your notice, but that will take longer to process.

If you have any further questions or need any assistance please feel free to contact us our experts will be happy to help you.