Hotlinking, which is oftentimes labeled bandwidth theft also, refers to linking to images which are on another Internet site. Essentially, if you have an Internet site with some images on it, another person can also create a site and as opposed to using their own images, they could put links directly to your images. Although this might not be such a major issue if you have a small personal site, it can be something really serious if the images are copyrighted, because somebody may be trying to copy your Internet site and cheat people. If your website hosting package deal has a limited monthly bandwidth quota, you can use up all your resources without getting legitimate site visitors, as the traffic will be consumed by the other website. That is why you should consider protecting your content from being hotlinked - not only images, but also files, since in rare occasions other kinds of files are linked as well.
Hotlinking Protection in Shared Web Hosting
There's a simple way to avoid the hotlinking of your images via an .htaccess file within the website’s root directory, but if you aren't very tech-savvy, we additionally offer a very easy-to-work-with tool that shall permit you to activate the protection with a couple of clicks and without entering any code. The tool may be accessed from the Hepsia CP, offered with all our shared web hosting and the only two things which you'll need to choose are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and whether the protection has to be activated for the main website folder or for some subfolder. Our system shall do the rest, so you won't have to do anything else manually on your end. If you wish to turn off the hotlink protection option eventually, you will just have to revisit the same section, to mark the checkbox next to it and to click on the Delete button.
Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Servers
If you don't want other individuals to use your images on their sites without your consent, you could easily activate the hotlink security feature, which is provided with all semi-dedicated server plans. Instead of generating an .htaccess file by hand within the website folder and writing some code within it, which is the traditional approach to deny direct linking to files, you could use a really simple tool, which we have incorporated into the Hepsia Control Panel. Using it, you'll only need to pick the website which needs to be secured and our system shall do the rest. Additionally, you can decide if the .htaccess file should be created directly in the root folder or in a subfolder, in case you'd like to switch on the hotlink security feature just for some content and not for the whole site. Stopping it is just as simple - you'll only need to mark the checkbox beside the specific Internet site and to click on the Delete button.