Why hide your affiliate link?

I am a newbie blogger and I intend in the future to monetize my blog through affiliate marketing.

I read in some forums that if you are an affiliate marketer, you must cloak or hide you affiliate link.

Being a newbie, I asked my self, why do I need to cloak or hide my affiliate link.

I am very fond of the saying that look before you leap. I do not want to enter into something that I do not understand.
I found a very nice explanation on why is there a need to hide the affiliate link. I found the answer from the site www.streetdirectory.com and enumerated the reasons why.

Reason Why Affiliate Link Must Be Hidden or Cloaked

1. To Prevent Hijacking - Hijacking is what happens when someone replaces your affiliate id with theirs in the affiliate link. Let’s say your affiliate ID is cyberbooks and the product site is www.affiliatelife.com. Then your affiliate link would be www.affiliatelife.com/?cyberbooks. Say the hijacker uses the affiliate ID of captain-hook. What he would do is replace your ID with his, and buy from the URL www.affiliatelife.com/?captain-hook.

2. To Prevent A Bypass - Bypassing is what happens when someone sees an affiliate link and is either unfamiliar and uncomfortable with it, or just can’t stand the idea of your getting a commission (even though you’ve done the work to put the information in front of them). So instead of buying from www.affiliatelife.com/?cyberbooks, the
bypasser will simply “chop off” the affiliate ID at the end and simply buy from the plain URL www.affiliate.com without your
affiliate ID attached!

The bottom line: You don’t get your commission, and the hijacker puts your money in his pocket, in the form of a discount, by buying through his own affiliate link. Unfortunately, as long as people can see an affiliate code in the link that you offer them, a certain number of them are destined to hijack it – or bypass it.

If you’re using PayPal to sell digital products check your source code. In that code is the link to your thank you page which many people use as the download page for their digital product. All someone has to do is copy that link in your source code and voila’, they’re at your download page without having to pay for your product.
How will I, a newbie blogger avoid losing my affiliate commissions from the reasons cited above.

The advice of seasoned bloggers whose blog I read says that we must look for software to hide affiliate links. My search leads me to a very nice and good solution:

1. If you are using blogger or any blogging platform aside from Wordpress, hide your affiliate link through shortening of the URL link. I found Google URL Shortener (discontinued by Google) a very effective one, I now used bitly. Just enter your affiliate URL link in the field box and just press the shorten URL box and you're done. You have a very nice short and tidy affiliate link.

2. If you are using WordPress as a blogging platform, I discovered the following plugins. It is very simple and efficient to use.
a. Pretty Link
b. ThirstyAffiliates

Both WordPress plugins have a free and paid version.

You may want to read:
1. Domain Name Registrar with free Whois