I wrote a while back about a very disturbing trend that's eating up quite a lot of bandwidth for my Hard Rock Cafe web site at DaveCafe.com. As more and more people become aware of it, more and more people are deciding to steal my photographs for their web pages. If that were the only problem, I would probably just ignore it. But rather than copy the image to their site, they link to the image instead, which means they aren't just stealing the photos but my bandwidth as well!
But not anymore! Thanks to a helpful hint from Jurgen, I've now enable "hotlink protection" in my site's "htaccess" file which makes it impossible for people to make me host the images they've been taking. I tested it out by looking at one of the 32 sites I've tracked down that have been stealing from me, and it works! I guess I can start adding back all the cafe, pin, and T-shirt photos I had to take down last month.
So, if you host images on your site that are at potential risk for this type of thing, you might want to investigate whether your web host offers "hotlink protection" as an option. That way you won't be surprised with a $120 bill for excessive bandwidth usage because somebody linked to a photo on your site in a popular public forum.