Hotlinking, which is oftentimes referred to as bandwidth theft also, describes linking to images which are on another website. Essentially, if you have a site with some images on it, somebody else may also build a website and instead of using their own images, they can put links straight to your images. While this might not be such a major issue if you have a small personal Internet site, it shall be something quite serious if the images are copyrighted, due to the fact that someone can be trying to copy your website and cheat people. If your web hosting package has a limited monthly bandwidth quota, you can use up all your resources without getting legitimate visitors, simply because the traffic shall be consumed by the other website. This is the reason why you should think about shielding your content from being hotlinked - not simply images, but also documents, since in rare occasions other types of files are linked too.
Hotlinking Protection in Hosting
There's a way of preventing the hotlinking of your images via an .htaccess file in the website’s root directory, but if you aren't very tech-savvy, we additionally offer a very intuitive tool that will permit you to enable the protection with several clicks and without typing any code. The tool could be accessed via the Hepsia CP, which comes with all our hosting plans and the only two things which you'll need to select are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and if the protection should be enabled for the main website folder or for some subfolder. Our system will do the rest, so you won't need to do anything else personally on your end. If you decide to deactivate the hotlink protection option sometime, you will only have to come back to the exact same section, to mark the checkbox next to it and to press the Delete button.
Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Servers
If you have a semi-dedicated server account with us and you notice that another person has hotlinked any of your images, you may use the protection tool we've developed and incorporated into our in-house built Hepsia hosting CP. Once you switch on this feature, a server-generated image shall appear on the third-party Internet site instead of your real images. You'll only need to go to the Hotlink Protection section in the CP and choose the domain or subdomain which your site uses from a handy drop-down menu - it's as basic as that. When necessary, you will also have the option to enable the feature only for a specific subfolder and not for the website in general. Deactivating the function is just as easy - return to the same section, check the box beside the particular Internet site and then click on the Delete button.