I happened to check my referral logs on my server this morning for the first time in a long time. (I usually just look at the SiteMeter at the bottom of my pages.) I was unpleasantly surprised to see a ton of entries showing various images of mine being snagged by other sites. The perpetrators were people on BlackPlanet, MiGente, and various discussion forums. After doing some quick Googling I found out how to modify my .htaccess file to prevent people from stealing my bandwidth in this way. I actually went one step further and replaced the jacked images with the following:
Here are some resources if you wish to do something similar to protect your bandwidth:
- Test your hotlink protection
- Preventing hot linking of images
- A slightly different method of preventing hotlinking
I almost feel bad about doing this, only because they were stealing pictures of Black Star’s album cover (that one is really popular on the forums) and the Boondocks. I can’t front on their taste, but they need to learn proper web decorum.