Hotlinking, which is occasionally termed bandwidth theft as well, identifies linking to images which are on another Internet site. Simply, if you have a website with some images on it, another person can also create a site and instead of using their own images, they can put links directly to your images. While this might not be such a serious issue if you have a smaller personal website, it'll be something rather serious if the images are copyrighted, as someone could be trying to copy your Internet site and trick people. If your website hosting package deal has a restricted monthly bandwidth quota, chances are you'll run out of resources without getting legitimate site visitors, as the traffic will be consumed by the other Internet site. This is the reason why you should consider protecting your content from being hotlinked - not only images, but also files, because in rare occasions other types of files are linked as well.
Hotlinking Protection in Shared Hosting
There's a simple way of avoiding the hotlinking of your images via an .htaccess file inside the website’s root directory, but if you are not very tech-savvy, we additionally give you a very easy-to-use tool that will allow you to activate the protection with a few clicks and without typing any code. The tool can be accessed via the Hepsia CP, included with all our Linux shared packages and the only two things which you will have to pick are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and whether the protection should be enabled for the main Internet site folder or for some subfolder. Our system will do the rest, so you shall not have to do anything else manually on your end. If you wish to turn off the hotlink protection option at some point, you will only have to return to the same section, to mark the checkbox next to it and to click on the Delete button.
Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Hosting
If you have a semi-dedicated server account with us and you find out that someone has hotlinked any of your images, you can use the security tool we have developed and integrated into our in-house built Hepsia hosting Control Panel. As soon as you activate this option, a server-generated image will appear on the third-party website as a substitute for your actual images. You'll only need to check out the Hotlink Protection section within the Control Panel and select the domain or subdomain which your website uses from a practical drop-down menu - it's as basic as that. If needed, you will also have the option to switch on the function just for a particular subfolder and not for the website altogether. Deactivating the function is as effortless - get back to the very same section, check the box next to the given site and then click on the Delete button.