Eclipse Link Cloaker

Eclipse Link CloakerNote : While the plugin works great for normal links, it does not cloak Flash ads, links created by JavaScript, and IFrames. This means that, for example, it can’t be used to cloak Google AdSense ads.

For optimal results, your site should also have the so-called “pretty permalinks” set up. The plugin works just as well with the default permalink configuration, but the cloaked link URLs look a bit better if you have mod_rewrite and custom permalinks.
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6 Easy Ways to Cloak and Redirect Affiliate Links

Link Cloaking

You may have heard all the hype over affiliate links getting stolen and losing up to 40% of affiliate commission. All these attempts prey on people to instill in their minds that they may not be getting what they deserve. I know that commission stealing is a problem, and affiliate networks like Clickbank have taken steps to plug the leaks in their systems. I use cloaked affiliate links or redirect pages a lot not because I’m afraid of having commission deliberately stolen from right under my nose, but because I’m annoyed at the length and ugliness of affiliate URL’s.

The whole idea of cloaking or redirecting has much to do with people’s nature. To be more specific, it’s all about psychology. It’s interesting that people are hesitant to click affiliate links and tend to cut off the ugly looking part in an affiliate link before pasting it to the browser. Now Let’s compare the following two links:
http://www.make-you-rich.com/copy.asp?storefront=weishengwu
And
http://www.make-you-rich.com
Which one looks more clickable? The answer is pretty clear.

You can replace long URL’s with cloaked links or short, server-side redirects so that people won’t feel pitched and won’t be turned off by links that are obviously affiliate links. There are several ways to create clean links that you can use to direct buyers to your sales pages. Read through the description below and see which one meets your needs and fall within your skill level.

1. Directory Redirect

Connect to your web server and create a properly named directory. Then create an index.html and put a redirect code in it.

2. Sub-domain Redirect

Most web hosting providers allow you to have several sub-domains. Simply log on to the control panel, set up your sub-domain and then set up the redirection.

3. Redirect Script

Several scripts are available out there that you can install on your web page to protect and redirect your links. You may need to put the code between the head section.

4. .htaccess

This is only recommended for advanced users because it involves modifying the .htaccess file on your server. Here’s how to do it. Create a properly named directory. Put a file called .htaccess by creating it using a text editor. This file should contain the Redirect command, the location of the directory you want redirected relative to the root of your site and the full URL of the location you want that request sent to.

You can find all the above mentioned codes for free. Do your research and then implement it to see how it works. I have put a link for downloading a free e-book containing these codes on my blog.

Besides creating redirect pages, you can cloak your affiliate links using commercial software programs or services. Listed below are popular ones on the market.

5. Software Programs:

Affiliate Link Cloaker and LinkGuardII. These two programs take your long, ugly link and mask it with a redirect link.

6. Services:

NameStick turns long, ugly affiliate or website links and turn them into a short, clean links (cloaked or not cloaked). It allows you to set up domain forwarding and unlimited sub-domains. NameStick forwarding domains and sub-domains are bookmarkable, and you can customize the title visitors see in their bookmark listings. I use NameStick service to create many neat and clean affiliate links to make my business look bigger.

If you’re serious about your business, you need to take action right away. Redirect or cloak your links to make them more clickable. You may be surprised by how a little effort on your part can make a big difference to your online business.

Wayne Wu is the owner of home business ideas and opportunities website located at : http://www.ecominfozone.com. Visit his site for free Internet home business tips and website marketing secrets. Also, be sure to check out his blog at: http://www.ecominfozone.blogspot.com and download 3 free e-books: Dotcomology, Adwords Made Easy and SEO Made Easy for marketing strategies at : http://www.ecominfozone.com/optin.html

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Wayne_Wu

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Security Risks of URL (Link) Shortening Services

We all share URLs (website links) with each other through emails, blogs, social media sites, book marking websites and word of mouth and we rarely, if ever, think about the potential security risk this simple act can raise. In this article I will outline some of the potential risks involved in sharing shortened links supplied by URL Shortening Services.

What is URL Shortening?

The idea behind URL shortening or link shortening is very simple, take a long URL and encrypt it to produce a shorter URL. This is what URL shortening services do. They provide a shortened URL which is then mapped to the original long URL. For example, an original destination link 220 characters long would typically be reduced to 25 characters, this is the link you would pass to your friends. When you friends click the short URL the shortening service website maps this short URL to the original and redirects the user.

 


 

Social Media Sites

With social media sites such as Twitter the sharing of links is problematic at best because of the 140 character limit imposed on message length. This problem has given rise to the proliferation of URL Shortening Services and whilst these services do a fantastic job on the whole there are risks involved with trusting a third party to redirect your links.

There are over 100 URL shortening services online, the majority of which are free. A more complete list of these services can be found on my website.

Security Risk 1 – Link Manipulation

What is the link destination? There is usually no way of knowing your final destination until you click the link. The true target is obscured.

Admittedly this risk applies to all link cloaking technologies but usually when you receive a dubious link via email for example, you can either view the plain text version of the link or hover your mouse over the URL to see the destination address and assess its validity.

With all shortened URLs this first line of defence has been removed, you don’t know where clicking the link will take you. Email Phishing scams are using the URL shortening services for this very reason.

Security Risk 2 – Ineffective Spam Filters

Because the original URL is not available spam filter systems cannot make a judgement about the validity of the URL. Plus, with the shortening services being freely available and taking only seconds to use, keeping abreast of this problem is almost impossible.

Many shortening services take spam complaints very seriously and disable spam URLs immediately. Some services actively scan registered URLs for blacklisted websites and disable the shortened URLs, but, no sooner is one removed than another takes its place.

Even the Safe Browsing features of web browsers such as Firefox and Google Chrome which warns users of malware or phishing sites are no match for shortened URLs. No warning will be issued, instead, users are sent directly to the potentially dangerous web page.

Security Risk 3 – Compromised Shortening Service

A considerable number of the URL shortening services I’ve visited have not been very secure. Several let me drop down to their directory structure just by typing an invalid URL. Poor security leaves sites open to risk, hacking such a website would allow popular shortened URLs to be redirected to phishing or malware sites.

Security Risk 4 – Privacy Issues

Link shortening services are in a position to track user’s behaviour across many domains so creating possible privacy issues.

Security Solutions – Transparency

Some URL shortening services are actively trying to solve security issues by adding a “see before you click” functionality to their short URLs.

 

  • Any tinyURL shortened URL can be prefixed with the text “preview” to show the destination address.
  • A BudURL shortened link can be previewed by adding a “?” to the end of the URL.
  • Some services provide a popup window to display the destination webpage when your mouse is hovered over the short URL.

 

Conclusion

Unless you are sure about the links you are clicking and you know the link comes from a reliable source (this applies to all links really) then be very wary about the destination page you are about to reach. We’ve all become very flippant with unknown links, especially if they come from our friends, be careful out their.

Philip invites you to visit, http://kingsolutions.org.uk where you can find FREE information, including audio, video and PDF files, to help you with your online business and ecommerce website plus more information on link cloaking and URL shortening services. Primarily aimed at Small Business users, the King Solutions website concentrates on existing Small Businesses and Small Business start-ups, technologies relating to the Internet, eCommerce, affiliate marketing and WordPress development as a CMS platform.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Philip_King

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