Over the last few years, bots have entered the mainstream. In case you’re still new to the world of bots, here’s a brief primer: Very simply, bots—short for “robots”—are automated software programs designed to carry out specific tasks. At a high level, bots tackle repetitive tasks that folks would find too boring or that are too time-consuming to be done manually.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are both good bots and bad bots.
If you log on to Amazon with a customer service issue you want to resolve through live chat, for example, a “good” chatbot will greet you and ask you a few questions before you’re routed to a live agent. In an ideal world, the chatbot would solve your problem right then and there. If not, the chatbot provides more context to the agent, accelerating resolution times on Amazon’s end.
However, when most people talk about bots, they’re talking about bad bots. In recent years, bad bots have evolved into a bigger and bigger problem as they become more technically complex and powerful. Bad bots can serve malware to users, take over networks, steal data, plagiarize content, and steal marketing dollars from your budget—all things you want to avoid.
The good news is that you’re not powerless against bots. Keep reading to learn about the negative impacts bots can have on your business, the kinds of bots you should be worried about, and what you can do to block malicious bots from targeting your company.
When bad bots attack your business, you suffer in a myriad of ways—it’s that simple. Here are some examples of the negative impact bots can have on your company:
Keep in mind that this list is by no means complete; bots can damage your brand in even more ways. Now that you have a better idea of some of the ways bad bots can hurt your business, let’s zero in on some of the more common bots you need to be aware of.
There are several different types of bad bots designed to wreak havoc. As technology continues to evolve, more and more bad bots come online periodically. With that in mind, here are some of the more common bots you need to be aware of right now:
Once again, the above list isn’t complete, either; there are several other kinds of bad bots, all of which can inflict damage upon your business.
Luckily, you’re not completely out of luck when it comes to protecting your business against these bots. In fact, there are several different tactics you can employ to protect your digital properties against bots, which we’ll examine in the next section.
If you don’t do anything to protect yourself against bots, it may only be a matter of time before they start causing serious pain for your business. With that in mind, here are four ways you can prevent bad bots from impacting your operations.
Honeypots are designed to capture bots in a way that doesn’t impact the user experience. Very simply, honeypots add a hidden field to forms that humans can’t see. The bot, however, does see the hidden field and fills it out, immediately alerting the website manager that the user is a bot.
CAPTCHA, or “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart,” is a mechanism that causes users to fill out forms, click on pictures, or answer questions to prove their identities. While CAPTCHAs are designed to protect websites from bots, they don’t protect sites against other kinds of ad fraud, and they also hurt the user experience.
By requiring website visitors to sign into your site with a Google or Facebook account, you can prevent bots from impacting your site. However, not everyone has Google and Facebook accounts. Even those who do might not want to connect their credentials to your site. In the best-case scenario, you have to assume that at least some real visitors are going to look for a substitute option.
You can also prevent malicious bots from hurting your business by blocking IP addresses of known bot addresses and in countries and locations you don’t serve. However, bots often have multiple IP addresses. While this method may help protect your website, it’s not 100 percent effective.
Companies across all industries need to do everything they can to protect their web presence from malicious bots and other bad actors. To do that, you need a proven solution that can detect fraudulent behavior in real time—and one that does more than just protect against bad bots.
Anura is a robust ad fraud detection and protection solution that delivers an industry-leading sales as a service (SaaS) platform that can help you mitigate the most complex types of ad fraud, including blocking bad bots. We are constantly updating our algorithm too in order to fight against the newest bots and ad fraud methods that emerge—giving you a solution to ad fraud that’s future-proofed.
To learn more about how Anura can help your business block malicious bots from targeting your company and taking a chunk out of your bottom line, check out our various resources.
Better yet, start your free trial today to see how Anura can help you validate users in real time and pinpoint sources of fraudulent traffic.
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