Hotlinking, which is occasionally labeled bandwidth theft also, refers to linking to images that are on another Internet site. Basically, if you have a website with some images on it, another individual could also create a site and instead of using their own images, they could put links straight to your images. Even though this might not be such a major issue if you have a smaller personal website, it shall be something really serious if the images are copyrighted, because someone might be attempting to copy your website and cheat people. If your web hosting package has a restricted monthly bandwidth quota, you could use up all your resources without getting real website visitors, simply because the traffic will be consumed by the other site. This is why you should consider protecting your content from being hotlinked - not only images, but also documents, as in rare occasions other types of files are linked too.
Hotlinking Protection in Shared Web Hosting
There's a method for preventing the hotlinking of your images through an .htaccess file within the website’s root directory, but if you aren't very tech-savvy, we furthermore offer a very intuitive tool that shall permit you to activate the protection with a couple of clicks and without inputting any code. The tool may be accessed via the Hepsia Control Panel, included with all our Linux shared web hosting packages and the only two things that you'll need to pick are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and if the protection must be enabled for the main site folder or for some subfolder. Our system shall do the rest, so you will not need to do anything else manually on your end. If you wish to deactivate the hotlink protection option at one point, you'll just have to return to exactly the same section, to mark the checkbox next to it and to press the Delete button.
Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Hosting
If you have a semi-dedicated server account with us and you discover that someone has hotlinked any of your images, you should use the protection tool which we have created and incorporated into our in-house built Hepsia hosting Control Panel. Once you activate this function, a server-generated image shall appear on the third-party website rather than your actual images. You'll only need to visit the Hotlink Protection section in the Control Panel and pick the domain or subdomain that your site uses from a practical drop-down menu - it is as basic as that. If needed, you'll also have the option to activate the function for a specific subfolder and not for the website as a whole. Deactivating the feature is just as effortless - get back to the same section, check the box alongside the particular Internet site and then click on the Delete button.