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Thread: how to hide a link's URL?

  1. #1
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    how to hide a link's URL?

    I need to hide a link's URL in the status bar.. how do I do this?

    I have a legit reason for needing to mask the file's URL.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Yeah, not buying it.

    First of all showing the URL is a basic feature of the browser, interfearing with that is ALWAYS a bad idea, people don't like it, and it is very easily disabled.
    Secondly you could use javascript to hide said url inside an onclick event, but that brings in a whole other problem, throw an uncaught javascript error, or the user has javascript disabled for some reason, and now the file is completely inaccessible to them, smart move there.

    Honestly I can't see a single good reason to do it, and the methods of doing so are all flawed, better to just not bother.

  3. #3
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    You can do this with javascript by placing this code in the <a> tag:

    Code:
    onmouseover="window.status=''; return true;"
    Not all browsers support masking the status bar, and of course, this wont work if the user has javascript disabled. Its worth mentioning that this is bad usability and will produce an overall negative response over the long run.
    Last edited by nickelleon; 12-31-2008 at 12:38 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by scragar View Post
    Yeah, not buying it.

    Honestly I can't see a single good reason to do it, and the methods of doing so are all flawed, better to just not bother.
    HOW RUDE!

    I'm selling downloadable products (GB in size, this product took me months and months of development) and providing download links to customers. I need to mask the location of the links so that they cannot be distributed.

    Perhaps if you cannot see a "single good reason to do it" you should try gaining a better imagination, or at least ask the poster "why" before jumping to conclusions.

    The reason I posted "I have a legit reason to ask" is because I've been google-searching and came across many forum posts with the same question, and same rude answers "You shouldn't be so dishonest. Don't do it".

    If it wasn't for the dis-honest nature of the human race, I wouldn't have to mask the download links, but sadly, in the month of december, my product links (although I'm changing them manually as often as I can), have already been pirated and I've had over £1075 in excess bandwidth charges due to non-paying users downloading the files.

    I've already got a programmer working on the system, but it won't be up and running for a few weeks, so I need to mask the download links in the mean time.

    So please, in future, don't presume.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickelleon View Post
    Its worth mentioning that this is bad usability and will produce an overall negative response over the long run.
    No. My unprotected links have produced already many loyal responses like "Why don't you protect your download links? There are people out there who will distribute this, and as a new company I'm hoping to see more from in the future, I'd hate for your to go bust."

    This is not an average every day link on a web page. These are download links that I send out to buying customers only. It would not product a negative response, since they would understand, and expect the links to be hidden. No only this, they don't need to know the location of the files.

    Again, please, I need something that works in all browsers. I've already experienced 650GB of unauthorized downloads in December alone, so someone distributed the links to their friends. This has cost me &#163;1000 in bandwidth, and a huge amount in lost sales.

    Thanks for the help.
    Last edited by matt9b; 12-31-2008 at 01:08 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt9b View Post
    HOW RUDE!

    I'm selling downloadable products (GB in size, this product took me months and months of development) and providing download links to customers. I need to mask the location of the links so that they cannot be distributed.

    Perhaps if you cannot see a "single good reason to do it" you should try gaining a better imagination, or at least ask the poster "why" before jumping to conclusions.

    The reason I posted "I have a legit reason to ask" is because I've been google-searching and came across many forum posts with the same question, and same rude answers "You shouldn't be so dishonest. Don't do it".

    If it wasn't for the dis-honest nature of the human race, I wouldn't have to mask the download links, but sadly, in the month of december, my product links (although I'm changing them manually as often as I can), have already been pirated and I've had over £1075 in excess bandwidth charges due to non-paying users downloading the files.

    I've already got a programmer working on the system, but it won't be up and running for a few weeks, so I need to mask the download links in the mean time.

    So please, in future, don't presume.
    If you are selling content then investing in a real protection is much more required, download protection is easily established using cookies and a server side language. I know not all servers posses server side languages, but it would suit your needs much better.

  7. #7
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    If you really think that people copy the URL from the status bar, you really are nuts. They right click and then select "Copy Link Location" or they copy from the location bar. And if your "programmer" takes more that 15 minutes figuring out how to password protect a URL then you need to hire a more competent programmer.
    “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
    —Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scragar View Post
    If you are selling content then investing in a real protection is much more required, download protection is easily established using cookies and a server side language. I know not all servers posses server side languages, but it would suit your needs much better.
    As I already mentioned, I have invested in real protection; it is being built along with a full admin system. What I need right now is some light protection against the blatent URL links. Why can't anyone answer the question.
    Last edited by matt9b; 12-31-2008 at 03:07 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles View Post
    If you really think that people copy the URL from the status bar, you really are nuts. They right click and then select "Copy Link Location" or they copy from the location bar. And if your "programmer" takes more that 15 minutes figuring out how to password protect a URL then you need to hire a more competent programmer.
    That's right, I'm looking for protection from the status bar and 'copy link location'. My programming team are very busy working on a full protection system including admin section. Getting any programmer on board involves time because people aren't just sitting around waiting for me to contact them. They have their other clients' work to finish first. What I'm looking for right now is an immediate thing I can quickly put into effect myself, even if it is light protection it's better than none at all.

    re: 'If you really think that people copy the URL from the status bar, you really are nuts...And if your "programmer" takes more that 15 minutes figuring out how to password protect a URL then you need to hire a more competent programmer..' : - I don't care for your manner, Charles, first Scragar implies that I'm dishonest, and now you're implying I'm stupid and my programmer is incompetent. Straight posts would be more helpful at the moment; its unkind and unnecessary to be sarcastic or rude, and I'm sorry to have to make an example of you in particular, as the other responses here have been just as insulting, but if you're irritated by the thread, please just don't continue reading it.

    I can see I'm getting no where with this here, so please forget it. Have a good new year.
    Last edited by matt9b; 12-31-2008 at 03:16 PM.

  10. #10
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    This script was created to hide affiliate IDs so it might work for you.

  11. #11
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    You can't hide the URL in the status bar where your visitor has decent security installed. Similarly you can't hide it in the address bar after they follow the link. Being able to be certain exactly what web page a link goes to and what web page you are on is an essential part of web security. You can of course if you like use a browser that doesn't prevent a web page from concealing the address in those places in which case you should get on the phone immediately to your bank to put a lock on your bank account in the hope that the scammers haven't already emptied it following your giving them your password the last time you thought you were following a link to your bank.

  12. #12
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    For free advise you can afford the indignity of a terse response, one that might seem less than obsequious.

    The thing that you are asking will not solve your problem. The thing that will solve your problem is trivial.
    “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
    —Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

  13. #13
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    to achieve the effect that you want, you should make the link not static. meaning if someone uses it later on, from a different site, etc, it will fail. blocking it via javascript is not going to solve your every solution, but making your back end code fail under certain conditions should.

  14. #14
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    I can't tell you how you can do this, but there are two other ways I know that can work simliarly.

    One: Use dynamic "melting" links. Link is generated at buy time, and gives the user a certain amount of time to dl it. Sure this leaves a gap, but if you combine with cookies/sessions/what-not. It's a pretty tight gap.

    Two: Use email, when the user clicks the link, your server automatically attaches the file to an email, and sends it off to them. They then dl it off their email server never knowing where the file was actually in the first place.

    But I guess proxies could work..

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