Hotlinking, which is occasionally termed bandwidth theft as well, refers to linking to images which are on another site. Simply, if you have a site with some images on it, another person may also create a website and instead of using their own images, they can put links directly to your images. Even though this might not be such a big problem if you have one small personal Internet site, it will be something really serious if the images are copyrighted, as somebody may be trying to copy your site and deceive people. If your website hosting plan has a restricted monthly bandwidth quota, you can exhaust your resources without getting legitimate site visitors, simply because the traffic will be consumed by the other website. This is the reason why you should think about shielding your content from being hotlinked - not just images, but also files, since in rare occasions other sorts of files are linked too.

Hotlinking Protection in Website 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 are not very tech-savvy, we furthermore provide a very easy-to-work-with tool that will permit you to activate the protection with a few clicks and without writing any code. The tool can be accessed from the Hepsia Control Panel, included with all our website hosting plans and the only 2 things which you will need to pick 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 will do the rest, so you won't need to do anything else manually on your end. If you choose to turn off the hotlink protection option sometime, you will simply have to revisit the same section, to mark the checkbox beside it and to click on the Delete button.

Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Servers

If you have a semi-dedicated server account with us and you notice that someone has hotlinked any of your images, you should use the security tool that we have created and included in our in-house built Hepsia hosting Control Panel. As soon as you switch on this option, a server-generated image will appear on the third-party site in place of your real images. You'll only need to go to the Hotlink Protection section within the CP and choose the domain or subdomain your website uses from a handy drop-down menu - it is as basic as that. When necessary, you'll also have the option to switch on the feature only for a particular subfolder and not for the website in its entirety. Deactivating the feature is just as effortless - go back to exactly the same section, check the box next to the given site and then click on the Delete button.