Hotlinking, which is often called bandwidth theft too, identifies linking to images which are on another website. Simply, if you have an Internet site with some images on it, somebody else can also develop a website and rather than using their own images, they could put links directly to your images. Even though this might not be such a serious problem if you have a small personal website, it shall be something rather serious if the images are copyrighted, as someone might be attempting to copy your Internet site and trick people. If your website hosting plan has a limited monthly bandwidth quota, chances are you'll use up all your resources without getting legitimate site visitors, because the traffic shall be consumed by the other site. This is why you need to think about shielding your content from being hotlinked - not simply images, but also files, as in rare occasions other kinds of files are linked too.
Hotlinking Protection in Shared Hosting
There's a simple way of preventing the hotlinking of your images by using an .htaccess file within the website’s root directory, but if you aren't very tech-savvy, we additionally give you a very intuitive tool that shall permit you to activate the protection with a couple of clicks and without writing any code. The tool could be accessed from the Hepsia Control Panel, which comes with all our shared hosting and the only two things that you'll need to choose are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and if the protection needs to be enabled for the main site folder or for some subfolder. Our system will do the rest, so you will not have to do anything else personally on your end. If you decide to disable the hotlink protection option at some point, you will just need to go back to the exact same section, to mark the checkbox beside it and to press the Delete button.
Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Hosting
If you don't want other individuals to use your images on their sites without your authorization, you could easily activate the hotlink security feature, that's supplied with all semi-dedicated server packages. Instead of setting up an .htaccess file manually within the site folder and writing some code within it, which is the traditional method to deny direct linking to files, you could use a really simple tool, that we have included in the Hepsia Control Panel. From it, you'll simply have to select the Internet site which needs to be secured and our system shall do the rest. Also, you can determine if the .htaccess file should be generated directly inside the root folder or inside a subfolder, when you want to enable the hotlink protection feature only for some content and not for the entire site. Stopping it is just as fast - you'll only need to mark the checkbox next to the specific website and to click on the Delete button.