As you can see, there are many ways in which companies can use bots, but it’s important not to let them get hold of your precious data!
Do you own a website? If so, the chances are that at some point or another, you have received the following email:
“Welcome to our service! We noticed that your site is not secure. Please upgrade this domain to HTTPS.”
This email is an example of alerts sent out by Google Webmaster Tools to help webmasters keep their sites safe from bots and spammers. These alerts can be helpful, but they also serve as a reminder that many bots exist specifically to harm websites through brute force attacks, information harvesting, and other shenanigans.
This means that even if these warnings indicate problems with your website, it may only be a matter of seconds before they return to cause more havoc unless action is taken. But what sort of action should be taken? Well, that’s what this article is all about, so let’s get to the point without further ado.
What are Bots?
Bots are programs designed to automate tasks to save time for humans during mundane computer processes. Think of them as highly advanced calculators or digital assistants.
You can find bots performing all sorts of functions online, from simple ones that delete comments with specific words in their content to save moderators time in moderating posts on forums to more complex bots designed for data mining purposes.
These programs are designed to help us, which means that they sometimes have access to sensitive information and systems, including our bank accounts, emails, etc.
This means that anti-bot protection is vital (hence the alerts from Google) as bots can be used to cause damage by stealing information or causing disruption, even if they are not explicitly created for that purpose.
Although bots were initially seen as a positive innovation, there has been a rise in content scraping bots more recently. This essentially means that publishing online is becoming increasingly difficult. Any new content on the web will automatically be ripped and reproduced elsewhere without giving website owners any due credit or linkbacks.
As many of these bots gather information on the scale of industrial processes rather than simply copying and pasting – such as those designed by search engines such as Google – people’s data can easily be stolen through these systems, which leads us to discuss anti-bot.
Protecting Your Site from Bots
So how can you protect your site from bots? The answer is that there are several different methods of anti bot protection which one may choose to implement depending on their budget, the type of bot they wish to prevent, etc. These include:
This is a simple method in which access to certain areas of a website requires a password or code for someone to gain access. E.g., requiring users to enter a verification key before proceeding further into an article after clicking on it from Google News.
This is not dissimilar from the above method. Instead of being asked for a password/code, users have to complete a quick task to identify similar objects within an image.
Although not precisely effective against bots, adding a watermark to your content will at least provide some protection against plagiarists. If included within an article, they are more likely to leave it out. E.g. The phrase ‘Copyright protected’ is stamped on the bottom of every blog post page.
These include anti-spam plugins, which essentially mean that any user who wishes to post on your site must complete a task first for their comment or link etc., to be approved. E.g., requiring users to solve a simple math equation before posting comments, etc.
Generally, these tasks are annoying but easy enough for genuine individuals, so it is worth nothing for you to have sensitive material on your site.
To implement these methods, you can choose from various plugins that you can find online at your discretion. Some are free, and others come with a price tag, although they generally don’t cost anywhere near what news publications have to fork out to implement subscription services such as paywalls, etc.
Benefits of Anti Bot Protection
Protecting your website is the top priority when it comes to online security. Automated bot traffic can decrease site performance and security risks that can expose your business to hackers. Luckily, there are many anti-bot solutions available that can protect your website from malicious bot traffic.
Now, let’s take a look at ten benefits of anti bot protection you should consider adding to your website:
Improved Site Performance
Bot traffic often results in slow page load times and other issues related to server usages, such as decreased availability and stability. Anti-bot technology helps resolve these issues by protecting against bots without inhibiting the crawler bots necessary for indexing your content.
Reduced Server Load
Some bot traffic is malicious and results in large amounts of data being pulled from your servers, resulting in higher hosting costs. Anti-bot security solutions can help you mitigate server load by identifying and eliminating bad traffic that typically causes performance problems.
This also helps preserve the performance of other client requests sent to your website’s servers, preventing bottlenecks that cause additional issues like downtime or slow page speeds.
Protection Against Bad Bots
A good anti-bot protection filter protects against both human and automated (bad) bots. Strong integration with your existing security measures ensures maximum protection by combining machine intelligence to identify potential threats.
More Accurate Analytics Reporting
One of the best benefits is the improved reporting accuracy that anti bot protection provides. By removing bot traffic from your analytics, you can get better metrics on actual human visitor behavior and see more accurate reports.
This makes it easier to understand user trends and improve SEO efforts by utilizing more reliable data that reflects actual website usage.
Increased Website Security
Many automated bots are developed for malicious purposes such as spamming or ad click fraud. These bots can perform many actions, including hacking into your system with malware, attempting DDoS attacks against your servers, exposing private information like usernames/passwords, etc.
Anti bot protection has become one of the most critical factors in keeping websites secure.
Reduced Risk of Malware Infection
Malicious bots are one of the biggest threats to your website’s security. These bad bots are often responsible for injecting malware onto websites by exploiting vulnerabilities in outdated software or running brute force attacks on user accounts.
Using an anti-bot solution will help protect your site against these harmful attacks and prevent viruses from being installed on your website’s servers.
Increased Customer Confidence
Anti-bot technology is becoming a standard among the top online retailers. They understand how important it is to keep their site protected from malicious traffic that can compromise their business and damage their reputation with customers.
Implementing this protection on your eCommerce store will help reassure visitors that they interact with real users and drive more sales by improving website performance.
Improved Google Rankings
As mentioned previously, the spammy nature of bot traffic can reflect poorly on your site’s search engine rankings if crawling and indexing algorithms are being used for page ranking purposes.
Implementing anti-bot protection can ensure that bots are filtered out from your analytics which keeps your website data accurate and ultimately affects how well you rank in organic search results.
Fewer Vendor Risk Issues
Today’s digital marketing landscape is highly competitive, with many agencies and vendors vying for clients to maximize their online presence.
By implementing anti-bot technology on your website, you’ll help reduce the number of low-quality leads generated by bot traffic coming from various sources to reduce the risk of losing out on exclusive deals to competitors.
Faster Site Browsing Speed
Finally, anti-bot protection can help improve your site’s average loading times for real visitors by filtering out automated bots known to be bandwidth hogs that slow down page speeds. This can result in a noticeable increase in conversions since website performance is one of the most critical factors affecting user behavior.
Even if you’ve got the best protection in the business, bots will eventually get through to your website or application. Any company must have a strong line of defense against unauthorized access.
Unauthorized access to systems is one of the most significant risks to companies today. There are many ways that hackers can get into a system, but usually, they are looking for users who are not protected by anti bot protection.