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Perfect Example of Bad Business

20 Jan
2009

I don’t use Twitter much. Yeah, I know, I should since it’s suppose to be a really good source of marketing. Well, that’s not the “bad business part.” I’ll explain more in just a moment.

This problem really can be in any niche and any website. This problem is something I’ve pointed out to people for years and I guess no matter the years and no matter how much they know, they think everyone else doesn’t know.

Drum roll please…

Twitter Hints Flaw

Twitter Hint’s Flaw

Twitter Hints has a free signup that’s suppose to give you a free download of the “Twitter Report” which is suppose to teach you how to “uncover a fun and effective new marketing angle that savvy internet gurus are already keeping to themselves and hoping you never discover…”

After signup, you’re met with a OTO (one-time-offer) to receive all the videos for just $47. Not bad. And if you say no, you’re met with a back-up offer that’s $27. Pretty good deal. And if you still don’t get it, well… if you know enough HTML, view the source codes and see what the video file is, you can actually download all of their videos without paying a penny.

I’ve already contacted them and informed them of this problem. I am not pointing this out to exploit them, but to explain that this is something you want to watch out for in your own site if you are doing it as well.

What’s wrong is that their directories are not protected with a .htaccess. If you don’t have something like that in place, it can easily be prevented with just a blank “index.html” uploaded into each of those directories/folders. That would prevent people from seeing everything that’s in the directory just as shown in the image above.

I hope they’ve learned from this mistake and you prevent yourself from going through the same thing.

Sincerely,
Kevin Lam

Kevin Lam
author

Kevin Lam is a self-taught internet marketer, web developer and traffic conversion expert that started since he was 17 in 2000. Even throughout his 5 years in the Navy, Kevin continued to hone his skills. Kevin now owns multiple digital companies including a Strategic, Digital Marketing Firm, a Sales Funnel Concierge Service, General Support Company and other digital products.

24 Comments

  1. JOe | January 20, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I agree.. but after 14 years of telling people about this error… I just don’t bother.. if I go land in an unprotected dir… I figure what I see is what I can have if I need or want it.. as in freebies…

    After all it their business and if they dont know how to protect it and their income it’s not my fault…in my mind it’s no different then dropping a $20 bill on the sidewalk and not picking it up… if they walk away from it.. it fair game…

    Joe

  2. Kevin Lam | January 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    LOL, I pretty much agree with what you’re saying, but I still have the habit of giving them the heads up. I sometimes don’t find the time to use/look through them though. That’s what sucks.

    Btw, ever found a $20 bill on the sidewalk? The best I’ve done has been a $50 bill. That was a great day when I was only 15. I’m waiting for a $100, lol. Kidding.

  3. BinkyM | January 20, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    I’m with Joe. I used to go so far as to help total strangers fix this problem because I felt bad for them not knowing the very basics of what they’re doing; now I figure it’s like a store owner leaving boxes of their wares on the sidewalk unprotected for people to help themselves, so I help myself if I see something I can use. It’s not up to me to stop what I’m doing and solve strangers’ problems. Boneheads will be boneheads. If you’re going to be a businessman, you need to learn what you’re doing and do it properly, otherwise things will fall off the back of the truck.

  4. Kevin Lam | January 20, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Again, I agree. It’s just a habit I have. I’m sure after 14 years, I’ll give it up too, lol.

  5. Brad West | January 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks Keven,

    I’m totally with Joe, you can only spend so much time telling, and helping people about this problem before you are full time security guard for everyone else s stuff.

    Don’t get me wrong I love to help others, someday s that takes up all my time. Well it did in the past I finally came to the conclusion I really need to separate myself from all these energy suckers. They are just draining me, I came to that conclusion when I needed a few minutes of their time and got totally blown off.

    Whatever live and learn
    someday
    Brad West ~ onomoney

  6. Kevin Lam | January 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Hey Brad,

    I hear ya and completely understand. At least we’re not making the same mistake they are. I learned that stuff when I was just starting out. Knuckle-heads – they’ll learn the hard way.

  7. J. R. Reece | January 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I’m gonna straddle the fence on this one.

    Yep, if I come across a site like this, I will look to see what I can use. But, then I will attempt to send a warning to the webperson. And I don’t return to see if they made the changes. The reason I do this, is sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know. I would rather give them the benefit of the doubt the first time. After that, it’s fair game.

    Just my 2-cents worth.

    Julia

  8. Kevin Lam | January 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I guess I’m just evil… I go back and check just to see if they’re still an idiot for not making the changes and then laugh at them and then tell my wife about it. After that, yeah, I move on because they’re not worth my time. I guess I just do this for fun, lol.

  9. Kevin Lam | January 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Btw, is anyone else having this issue: when I submit a comment to this blog, I come to a blank page. I wonder if something’s going on with my server or just my connection. Been doing this all day.

  10. Perry Wolf | January 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    It’s amazing how the simplest of things can completely negate all the hard work of a marketer like this.

    Perry.
    Download-Page-Protector.com

  11. Perry Wolf | January 20, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    I had no problem adding a comment here Kevin.

    Perry.

  12. Kevin Lam | January 20, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Yeah, I know.

    Thanks, Perry. Must have just been my connection, but we’ll see after I click on the submit button.

  13. Kevin Lam | January 20, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Arg, it’s still happening to me. Oh well, as long as it’s not anyone else.

  14. E C Dumchus | January 21, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I have to say that stealing is stealing, even if a store owner left a box of their wares on the street, if you take it without paying for it, you are a thief. Stealing is stealing no matter how you try to justify it.

  15. S. Hansgen | January 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I have to agree. Theft is theft is theft. It’s actually very different from finding a 20 on the sidewalk. By checking their directory you have actually “entered” their store. That is called shoplifting. Period.

    It’s amazing to me that you are supposed to be marketers that expect your customers to trust you enough to buy from you while at the same time you are stealing from other marketers. Pathetic!!

  16. Kevin Lam | January 21, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Party pooper! J/k. Well, I definitely see your point of view and I appreciate you speaking out.

  17. Kevin Lam | January 21, 2009 at 11:01 am

    S. Hansen << Ouch. A little more angry then Dumchus. Just so you know, I've informed the people there, but they have still not responded. It's been more than 24 hours. This tells me they don't care about customer service - that's another bad business. If anything, I'm trying to prevent it from happening. This in turns will save them a lot of money now and in the future when they set up other businesses. Heck, I should be charging them for my time. Oh well. It's still fun.

  18. Barb | January 22, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Yesterday i caught somebody stealing bandwidth from my domain. I called them on it via email. they removed the items due to my threats of legal action then offered to make up for it by letting me advertise my link on their site for free. I declined since this person is into stealing from others.

    i have come across quite a few pages showing their directories. never crossed my mind to steal from them or invade their privacy. i’d feel bad about myself if i did. i just left the site and moved on.

    i do have a blank index.html in all folders that don’t have their own index.html

  19. Kevin Lam | January 22, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Good for you, Barb. It is certainly the right thing to do.

  20. Kevin Lam | January 22, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Alright, I got a response and they’ve fixed it. Good for them.

  21. BinkyM | January 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    @Kevin: “is anyone else having this issue: when I submit a comment to this blog, I come to a blank page”: I am. When I submit, I get the blank page. I click to go back to submit again, then am told I’m attempting to make a duplicate post. I refresh the page, and sure enough, my comment’s there.

  22. BinkyM | January 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I take it back: it’s not a blank page, but the equivalent: “Safari can’t open the page “http://kevinlam.name/wp-comments-post.php” because the server unexpectedly dropped the connection, which sometimes occurs when the server is busy. You might be able to open the page later.”

  23. BinkyM | January 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    (And before you ask, yes, it happened for both those posts, and will happen again for this third post. It’s 100% reliable on your blog here.)

  24. Kevin Lam | January 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks, Binky, I appreciate that. I’ll talk to my host. I don’t see how my dedicated server is getting so busy unless we have too much data being stored… I better look into it.

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