"Thieves on the Web"

Sometimes I wonder if it's possible for any organization to make a dent in cleaning up the internet. So many scams - so many "business owners" who have no intention of treating their customers with anything other than contempt - so much BS ... And, so much theft!

In just a short period of time, I have personally known three online business owners who have had their web sites stolen! Their entire web sites - good GRIEF!

This is only the tip of the iceberg. You can also find your articles, sales copy, ad copy, ebooks and reports, software, other products, graphics and images, and even your ezine stolen!

Unfortunately, the theft itself is only the beginning of the problem. One victim was advised by several people to, "just leave it alone ... let it go."

In a pig's wazoo! For one thing - why do we bother to put a copyright mark on our work if it isn't going to mean anything? For another - she could soon find her own products stolen right along with the site design.

If your intellectual property is stolen - you need to get that stolen material off the Web! In one of the instances mentioned above, the product WAS actually stolen - right along with the entire web site - and was being sold by the thief. He even used the same credit card provider as the real owner!

In addition to all this, the thief then proceeded to market the product using "spam." Is this something you should just "leave alone?" I don't think so!

A thief is a thief is a thief. This person isn't going to have an ounce of ethics. You can bet you're dealing with someone whose reputation will soon be in the toilet. Do you want your property associated with this? Believe me, sooner or later, it will rub off on you!

In this case, the thief's web host refused to ban the stolen site. Even with undeniable evidence that the owner had both his domain name and his site up first! Even though the thief had been reported for "spam" by an outside source! What do to next?

Even when the web host cooperates, the job isn't finished. In fact, your job starts before something is stolen. And, it isn't over just because one web host shuts the pirate down. He could simply get a new web host and put it all back up.

Now granted, getting rid of this guy can take some work, energy and stamina on the part of the victim. But, let it go?

Well, I suppose you could. But how much are your web site - your products - and your reputation - worth to you?

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rrossbauer's picture

Thieves on the Web

I recently had two very unpleasant experiences involving tampering with my websites by hackers - thieves who stole my earning potential by hacking one of my major sites - and then brazenly changing my opening page and bragging that the site had been hacked.

First time it ever happened to me and fortunately, my web host was able to remove the offending page and restore the original Index page. We did change passwords immediately.

Second experience was just last week. Upon returning from about a three week absense I was greeted with the complete removal of my www.RichardPresents.com site due to a phishing complaint. Hackers had created a fake copy of a web page connected to one of the links on an adsense site to phish for names, email addresses, etc. My Firefox browser recognized the fake which was picked up by the webhost.

By being away, I missed their alert so they closed the site completely, but were very cooperative in restoring it after the offending link was removed.

By trespassing on my property, and stealing my link for criminal purposes, these thieves could well have destroyed years of work.

How can these criminal events be avoided? I doubt that it's possible. But I found that having a good reputation and long term relationship with my web host was the saving factor in resolving my problems.

RichardP, sharing safe family fun stuff at www.richardpresents.com

rrossbauer's picture Thieves on the Web

Was your web host able to find out exactly who was behind this?

:-) jl

jl scott, ph.d., Director: Chamber of Commerce - on the Web

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