Hotlinking, which is oftentimes termed bandwidth theft too, refers to linking to images that are on another website. Essentially, if you have an Internet site with some images on it, somebody else may also build a website and as opposed to using their own images, they may put links straight to your images. Although this may not be such a big problem if you have a smaller personal Internet site, it'll be something quite serious if the images are copyrighted, as somebody may be aiming to copy your Internet site and cheat people. If your website hosting package has a limited monthly bandwidth quota, you will exhaust your resources without getting actual visitors, due to the fact that the traffic shall be consumed by the other Internet site. That is why you should think about shielding your content from being hotlinked - not just images, but also files, because in rare occasions other types of files are linked also.
Hotlinking Protection in Hosting
There is a way of preventing the hotlinking of your images through an .htaccess file inside the website’s root directory, but if you are not very tech-savvy, we furthermore offer a very intuitive tool that shall permit you to enable the protection with just a few clicks and without typing any code. The tool may be accessed via the Hepsia CP, which comes with all our hosting plans and the only 2 things which you will have to choose are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and whether the protection must be enabled for the main site folder or for some subfolder. Our system shall do the rest, so you shall not have to do anything else personally on your end. If you wish to turn off the hotlink protection option sometime, you will just need to return to the same section, to mark the checkbox beside 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 discover that somebody has hotlinked any of your images, you can use the security tool we have developed and included in our in-house built Hepsia hosting CP. As soon as you switch on this function, a server-generated image shall appear on the third-party site as a substitute for your actual images. You will only have to go to the Hotlink Protection section within the Control Panel and choose the domain or subdomain that your Internet site uses from a convenient drop-down menu - it's as easy as that. If necessary, you'll also have the option to activate the feature just for a particular subfolder and not for the website in its entirety. Deactivating the function is just as effortless - go back to the very same section, check the box next to the specific website and then click on the Delete button.