Bots can be found in several aspects of our daily lives. From convenient online shopping to quick transactions via internet banking, bots help carry out functions to make our online experiences as seamless as possible. But are all bots good? And if not, what risks do these ‘bad bots’ pose to website owners? In today’s blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about bot traffic, including what it is, why it is a problem, how to detect and prevent bot traffic on your website, and how to safeguard your website moving forward.
What Is Bot Traffic?
Bot traffic is a type of internet traffic that is generated by automated programs, also known as bots. Bots can be used for a variety of purposes, such as scraping websites for data, sending spam emails, or launching denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
Good Bots VS Bad Bots
“Good” bots carry out operations without harming your website or server. On your website, they introduce themselves and tell you what they do. The most common “good” bots are those used by search engines. Search engines cannot provide you with information when you conduct a search without crawlers visiting your website to find content. So, these bots are what we mean when we talk about “excellent” bot traffic.
“Bad” bots are made with the goal of doing harm. Most likely, you’ve come across spambots that bombard your website with pointless remarks, unrelated backlinks, and obnoxious adverts. Perhaps you’ve also heard of bots that buy out the prime concert seats, or those that enter online sweepstake on people’s behalf. These harmful bots are to blame for bot traffic’s unfavourable reputation, which is well-deserved. Regrettably, there are a lot of malicious bots on the internet today.
Why Is Bot Traffic A Problem?
Bot traffic can be a problem for businesses for a number of reasons. First, it can overload websites and servers, making them slow or even unavailable to legitimate users. Second, bot traffic can be used to collect data from websites, which can then be used for malicious purposes, such as identity theft or fraud. Third, bot traffic can be used to launch DoS attacks, which can take websites offline altogether.
How To Detect Bot Traffic
There are a number of ways to detect bot traffic. One way is to use a web analytics tool to track the number of visitors to your website. If you see a sudden spike in traffic from unknown sources, it is likely that you are being targeted by bot traffic. Another way to detect bot traffic is to use a bot detection service. These services use a variety of techniques to identify bots, such as IP address, browser fingerprint, and behaviour patterns.
How To Prevent Bot Traffic
There are a number of ways to prevent bot traffic. One way is to use a web application firewall (WAF). A WAF can block traffic from known botnet IP addresses. Another way to prevent bot traffic is to use a bot trap. A bot trap is a page that is designed to attract bots. When a bot visits the bot trap page, it can be identified and blocked.
How Does Bot Traffic Affect Businesses?
Bot traffic can have a number of negative impacts on businesses, including:
- Reduced website performance: Bot traffic can overload websites and servers, making them slow or even unavailable to legitimate users. This can lead to lost sales and revenue.
- Data theft: Bots can be used to collect data from websites, such as customer contact information, credit card numbers, and passwords. This data can then be used for malicious purposes, such as identity theft or fraud.
- Denial-of-service attacks: Bots can be used to launch DoS attacks, which can take websites offline altogether. This can be a major disruption to businesses that rely on their website for sales or customer service.
How Can New Business Owners Safeguard Their Website from Bot Traffic?
There are a number of things that new business owners can do to safeguard their website from bot traffic, including:
- Use a web application firewall (WAF): A WAF can block traffic from known botnet IP addresses.
- Use a bot trap: A bot trap is a page that is designed to attract bots. When a bot visits the bot trap page, it can be identified and blocked.
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication: Strong passwords and two-factor authentication can help to protect your website and accounts from unauthorised access.
- Keep your software up to date: Keeping your software up to date, including your web browser, operating system, and web application software, can help to protect your website from known vulnerabilities.
- Be careful about what information you share online: Don’t give out your personal information to strangers.
- Report suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities: If you see suspicious activity on your website, such as a sudden spike in traffic from unknown sources, report it to the appropriate authorities.
Bot traffic can be a serious problem for businesses. By understanding what bot traffic is, why it is a problem, and how to detect and prevent it, businesses can protect themselves from the negative impacts of bot traffic. We know and understand the importance of a well-performing website, so get in touch with us today and let our experienced team keep your website free from bot traffic!