Hotlinking, which is often referred to as bandwidth theft also, refers to linking to images that are on another Internet site. Essentially, if you have a site with some images on it, another individual could also develop a site and instead of using their own images, they may put links directly to your images. While this may not be such a serious problem if you have a smaller personal Internet site, it will be something really serious if the images are copyrighted, because someone can be aiming to copy your Internet site and cheat people. If your hosting package has a limited monthly bandwidth quota, you will run out of resources without getting real visitors, as the traffic will be consumed by the other Internet site. That is why you need to consider shielding your content from being hotlinked - not simply images, but also documents, since in rare occasions other kinds of files are linked also.
Hotlinking Protection in Cloud Website Hosting
There is a way of preventing the hotlinking of your images by using an .htaccess file within the website’s root directory, but if you are not very tech-savvy, we additionally provide a very helpful tool that shall permit you to enable the protection with several mouse clicks and without writing any code. The tool can be accessed through the Hepsia Control Panel, included with all our cloud website hosting service and the only two things which you will need to pick are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and if the protection should be activated for the main site folder or for some subfolder. Our system shall do the rest, so you won't need to do anything else manually on your end. If you want to disable the hotlink protection option sometime, you'll simply have to revisit 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 protection tool we have designed and included in our in-house built Hepsia hosting Control Panel. Whenever you activate this option, a server-generated image shall appear on the third-party website in place of your real images. You'll only have to visit the Hotlink Protection section in the CP and choose the domain or subdomain your site uses from a handy drop-down menu - it's as simple as that. If necessary, you shall also have the option to enable the function just for a specific subfolder and not for the website altogether. Deactivating the protection is equally easy - return to the exact same section, check the box next to the specific site and then press the Delete button.