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February 15, 2023

Hotlinking is using a hyperlink to directly link to a resource on another website, such as an image, video, or audio file, rather than hosting the help on the linking website. This can cause problems for the website hosting the resource because it can result in increased server load and bandwidth usage. It can also lead to the resource being used in ways the owner of the help did not intend, such as using an image in a context that the owner finds offensive.

For example, if website A includes an image from website B using a <img> tag, the image is hotlinked. If many websites use that same image in the same way, website B will have to bear the cost of serving all of those requests, which can cause strain on the server and consume a lot of bandwidth.

To prevent hotlinking, website owners can use a .htaccess file (if the server runs Apache) or other methods to check the referrer header, which is sent with each request, and only allow requests from specific websites or domains. This will prevent other websites from linking to resources on the website. They can also replace the image or resource with a placeholder image or a warning message.

Hotlinking is not always malicious; in some cases, it’s done without the knowledge of the person linking to the resource. However, it’s still crucial for website owners to protect their resources from hotlinking to ensure that their website’s performance and security are not compromised.

Also, See: Headless Website

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