Q: I keep hearing that people are stealing affiliate ID’s and people are not getting paid. Is this true, and if so, what can you do to protect yourself?
A: I’ve heard of this problem in the past with ClickBank links, but not really with any other affiliate network.
The issue with ClickBank links is that if somebody can take your link and edit it to insert their own affiliate ID before continuing on to make a purchase.
Below is the structure of a ClickBank link I just created with my account for an item on ClickBank called Day Job Killer:
babylounge is the affiliate ID and dayjobkill is the merchant ID. So theoretically, somebody might just replace babylounge with their affiliate ID. Say their affiliate ID is cheater, then the new link would be:
There are lots of programs out there with the purpose of cloaking ClickBank links. Personally, I think those programs are unnecessary. If you are really concerned about the possibility of somebody hijacking your affiliate links in this fashion, try using a .htaccess file to redirect your links.
I don’t have any statistics on the incidences of affiliates replacing somebody else’s ID with their own, but honestly, I don’t see this as a big issue.
If somebody wants to purchase through their own link, it just takes a minute to login and generate a link from any network.
Don’t lose sleep over it.