You are running out of traffic quota with your hosting provider but see no reason for that excessive use? Then you may be a victim of hotlinking, otherwise known as bandwidth theft.

Hotlinking (can also be referred to as: inline linking, leeching, piggy-backing, direct linking, offsite image grabs) refers to direct linking to a website’s files from someone else’s website.

This type of direct linking uses your traffic resources and can make you end up having to pay for extra traffic quota or even go offline.

In addition to being a resource theft, hotlinking is often considered as an intellectual property theft as well, since in most cases the hot-linked file owner is not asked for their permission. A typical act of hotlinking is when a forum user hotlinks a picture from another website to use it as an avatar or a signature image. Blogs also tend to use hotlinking, using pictures in the posts by just creating a link to them.

A typical act of hotlinking is when a forum user hotlinks a picture from another website to use it as an avatar or a signature image. Blogs also tend to use hotlinking, using pictures in the posts by just creating a link to them.

Hotlink protection is your option to save your images from inline linking. It relies on a .htaccess file, which will check if the requests for your files are coming from inside your hosting server or from a different one and handle the situation accordingly.

Check here steps to do hotlinking protection with cPanel.

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