3 WordPress Files Piracy Issues & How To Solve Them
Digital Piracy Costs Online Sales Dearly
Nowadays, digital piracy is no longer a new issue. It is a real and big threat for many online businesses.
While digital sales are now worth an estimated of $2.3 trillion worldwide, digital piracy has cost online businesses a staggering loss in sales and revenue. It’s estimated that video piracy causes $18.5 billion lost in sales while pirated software costs the industry as much as $500 billion every year. The music industry is also losing out to piracy on a large scale, with an estimated 95% of music available online being downloaded illegally.
The emergence of many social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter has made sharing, and so, piracy even much easier. So whether you’re in an online business selling music, videos, graphic designs or software, your sales and revenues are adversely affected by piracy.
E-courses, e-books and other information products sold through WordPress – the platform powering 27% of the Web are not immune to this threat either. In this article, we are going to discuss 3 common piracy and security issues with WordPress files and how you can prevent them from happening.
Issue #1: Image Hotlinking
Image hotlinking refers to the fact that others use and embed your images on their websites by linking them directly from your website. This type of plagiarism has been gaining popularity in the recent years.
First of all, image hotlinking is definitely a violation of copyrights. In most cases, it is illegal to copy and use others’ content without acknowledgment and permission. But that is not the only negative effect of image hotlinking. There are two major downsides to image hotlinking too.
In web hosting, bandwidth describes the amount of data transferred from your website server to a user’s computer usually within a month’s time. When people surfs a hotlinked image from different websites, the image still technically loads from your server, which means they’re using your website’s bandwidth to display those images. These bandwidth theft could get you charged more by your web hosting providers.
Worse still, this issue is almost undetectable in most cases and remains latent till extreme conditions are reached. For example, if this happens to a lot of your images and files at large, multiple hotlinkings from multiple external websites would slow down your website significantly.
Or when the hotlinking websites are getting a lot of traffic, these massive traffic requests steal your bandwidth and drain your server resources. It could exceed your monthly bandwidth limit and shut down your website entirely.
This problem becomes serious especially if your content is good and getting viral. So it is always necessary to prevent image hotlinking and protect WordPress files at large before the issue takes hold and becomes severe.
Issue #2: Google Indexing of Confidential Files
Every single website on the Internet wants traffic – a lot of traffic. At the end of the day, traffic is what really matters. We all want our brand, products and content to reach more and more people. Among all the sources, traffic coming from search engines is probably the cheapest and most natural way to reach our target users.
In order to get traffic from search engines, your website content needs to ideally appear on the first page of search results. The higher, the better. You’ll get much more traffic by appearing on top 3 results rather the rest of the first page. So getting your websites and files such as images and documents indexed by Google and other search engines is the first important step to achieve that.
Having said that, website indexing also brings many spammy web crawlers and robots to you site, which could be damaging if it is attracting lots of traffic.
It’s important to note that Google and other search engines not only index your content but also your files including your images, videos and documents. As a result, your private files could be displayed on Google search results. And chances are someone could find and download them without your permission. So it’s crucial to block Google and other search engines from crawling in and indexing your private and confidential files.
Issue #3: All WordPress Files Are Unprotected & Accessible By Default
All files uploaded to your WordPress websites are not only being indexed by Google but also accessible to everyone. In other words, anyone who manages to find your files’ links whether through search or sharing is able to access and download them without your knowledge and permission.
It’s crucial to understand Google and unauthorized users are able to find your private unprotected files no matter how random you name your files or where you try to “hide” them. As a matter of fact, many files with random names and even hosted on Amazon S3 storage are indexed, discovered and shared by unwanted users.
Given all these piracy threat and troubles, it’s very important that you protect your private and confidential documents and files right after they’re uploaded into your WordPress website.
Among all available solutions in the market, Prevent Direct Access Gold stands out with its simplicity, flexibility and affordable pricing. Before going into the details of how Prevent Direct Access Gold could help stop these WordPress piracy and security issues, let’s first understand what it is.
What is Prevent Direct Access Gold?
In short, Prevent Direct Access Gold is a premium WordPress plugin that provides extra security to your WordPress files without complex user authentication. It offers an easy and simple way to protect your online content against digital piracy.
Now let’s see how Prevent Direct Access Gold can counter the above piracy and security issues.
How Prevent Direct Access Gold help you solve these issues?
First of all, Prevent Direct Access Gold stops Google and other search engines from indexing your WordPress files, which essentially prevents these files from popping up unwantedly in the search results. This adds a layer of protection to these confidential files as they will not attract any unwanted attention from unauthorized users.
Secondly, the premium plugin also blocks original links (URLs) of all your private files. In other words, even if people manage to find your file links, they won’t be able to access them. What’s more, all your images are now protected, meaning people can no longer hotlink and use them directly from your website server any more. Directory browsing is also disabled – no one could browse and view the content of all your WordPress folders anymore.
Last but not least, you can even block specific users from accessing your WordPress files through their IP addresses. Apart from blocking unwanted users, Prevent Direct Access Gold also lets you grant specific roles of your website such as subscribers and editors to access your protected files.
One of the reasons I love Prevent Direct Access Gold is that it doesn’t require any technical knowledge and coding skill to get all these features up and running. It’s built for novice users just like you and me. Take a closer look at all Prevent Direct Access Gold features to understand how awesome and powerful the plugin is.
No matter how advanced WordPress has become, there are always security issues that other people could exploit if left unprotected. So it’s always wise to protect your online content against possible threats such as image hotlinking and digital piracy using Prevent Direct Access Gold.
The plugin provides many unique features that can tackle the above privacy and security issues, such as blocking Google from indexing protected files, blocking WordPress files’ original links, granting subscribers access to protected files and auto expiring download links whilst preventing image hotlinking at the same time.
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