For those of you who run small websites on shared servers, you might sometimes run into problems where your images are “hotlinked” and your bandwidth stolen. Here at Zedomax.com, we run a server farm so we don’t have bandwith problems so far but here’s 2 really great resources on how to protect yourself against image hotlinking:
- AltLab.com has some simple instructions on how to stop hotlinking via .htaccess file in your web server.
- AlistApart.com has a slightly more complex PHP method that can help you protect against unwanted hotlinking.
If you have a website with no hotlinking image problems, it’s probably wiser and more beneficial to let people hotlink your images. But of course, if your website starts going down for no reason, look at your web logs and see if someone has hotlinked your images. For one, social networking services like StumbleUpon is built on hotlinking images. If you use StumbleUpon a lot, you might want to check that your images are not being “stumbled” out of control. If it is, simply put the code and you won’t have to worry about your website going down. *Side Note – StumbleUpon really needs to “cache” those images instead of hotlinking.