5 Ways to Identify Bot Traffic on Your Website

Bots are software applications that run scripts over the internet and make up more than half of all internet traffic. Bot traffic is also known as automated traffic, and bot identification has become a major blind spot for technology leaders.

Online bots are mostly classified as good bots and bad bots. Good bots enable search engines to index web content, price comparison services to save consumers money, and market researchers to gauge sentiment on social media. These also include chatbots, and search engine and social media bots.

Meanwhile, bad bots are used to conduct a variety of harmful activities, such as web scraping, credential stuffing, denial-of-service attacks, competitive data mining, account hijacking, data theft, unauthorized vulnerability scans, spam, and digital ad fraud.

Bad bots are used by competitors and bad actors trying to benefit from your website or content. Here are a few ways to tell if a bot has visited your site and keep it safe.Here are five ways to spot a bot.

1. Monitor Login Attempts

One of the most profitable uses of bots for an attacker is via credential stuffing, the mass-scale automated testing of username and password combinations across multiple websites. When successful matches are discovered, attackers use these logins to take over the account for fraud or to resell the confirmed credentials.

One simple step to detect bots is to monitor macro-level success and failure rates of login attempts. Regardless of how advanced the bots are and how difficult they are to identify; credential stuffing generates high levels of failed logins. Even if fraudsters are careful enough not to trigger account lockouts, they will generate failed logins, which are early warning signs of bot activity.

2. Check Server Logs

One of the first steps to identifying a bot is to check your server logs. Every computer that connects to your website will leave a trace on your server. With logs of every user that has connected to your site, you can then begin to analyze the users for any suspicious bots.

Most bots will visit the same website regularly, even several times a day. If you keep seeing the same IP address pop up on your logs, then the chances are they could be a bot. You can check the IP addresses, location, and hostname manually, using a website like IP2Location. If the IP is included on a blacklist or is not a residential address, there's a strong chance that it's a bot.

3. Website Loading Speed Or Frequent Crashes

Bots move fast across websites and do so in hoards, so you get a lot of server requests per second, which can overload the system and cause a significant slowdown in loading times. The result is that you end up spending more money on server costs for traffic that doesn't translate into any benefit for your business. Also, any humans who try to visit your site or make a purchase at a time when the site slows down will typically leave and take their business somewhere else.

4. Website Content Getting Duplicated Elsewhere on the Internet

Bots can sometimes copy website content and post it elsewhere without permission. Plagiarism checking websites can help you to determine whether or not any of your site information has been posted elsewhere on the internet. While this isn't a sure-fire way of telling whether your content has been copied, it can potentially give you some idea.

5. Bot Protection Solution

A real-time bot protection solution can provide real-time and granular visibility over the bot traffic on your website. A bot protection solution also provides with the ability block malicious bots and stop all automated threats to web applications.