Published April 23, 2018

A bot is a code that is written to do specific tasks. From very simple scripts that accomplish a single goal to extremely sophisticated processes that learn through AI, bots exist in multiple forms. They can be found scanning pages for a search engine query to find the latest news article about an industry or directing a person's call in an automated phone line.

In fact, many people may not even realize when a bot is interacting with them, but bots are everywhere on the internet and people interact with them every day. In 2017, one source suggests that bots now make up 56% of all online traffic, and as their usage increases for performing various tasks, this number is only expected to increase 1.

In many ways, bots can make life easier by answering simple questions in the form of chatbots or scouring pages of data to return the right results. However, there are a number of malicious bots out there, and fraudsters often use bots to commit online fraud.

For example, bots are commonly utilized for ad fraud by creating fake clicks or retargeting impressions, allowing scammers to charge for advertisements that are never seen by humans. Bots can also be used to commit order fraud by purchasing products or running scripts to see if stolen credit cards get declined when making a purchase.

Though not all bots are bad, differentiating non-human traffic on a site enables a business to identify suspect traffic and keep them from losing revenue. As bots get more advanced and develop new methods to emulate human behavior, companies must find new ways to identify bot traffic and protect themselves against the evolving fraud threats they represent.

In order to protect a site from bot traffic, companies need to adopt a layered approach that can watch for non-human traffic from a number of different sources. Products such as NS8 Protect can help merchants protect themselves against malicious traffic by monitoring ad campaigns for bots, scoring orders for the presence of suspect users, and sending verification requests to confirm the customer’s identity.


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