4 Ways How Bad Bots Negatively Impact Your Business
When we talk about bots in the general sense, we are typically referring to Internet bots that systematically browse the web for the purpose of web indexing. Web indexing is responsible for making sure that your website and its pages appear on the SERPs.
When you successfully index a web page, it results in more traffic to your site and allows newly added pages to be discovered more quickly.
Unfortunately, not all bots are good. While “good” bots can help with automated tasks like web indexing, “bad” bots are used by criminal hackers who want to steal sensitive information and make gains from your website.
Malicious bots can gather passwords, obtain financial information, relay spam, launch cyberattacks, and much more.
In this blog post, we’ll share how bots affect your business and what you can do to protect your company website from these bad bots.
4 Ways Malicious Bots Negatively Impact Your Business
1) Bots Can Affect Your Website Speed
When you suddenly see a spike in your website traffic through one of your analytics platforms, more often than not, the traffic likely originated from bots.
Even if you’ve applied filters to your web analytics reports, bots are nevertheless entering your website. This can potentially be a problem if bots are continuously requesting information from your site. Ultimately, this inflow of traffic will slow down the page load speed when new users come to the site.
This is why website load speed is important for online brands. If bots flood your website with lots of traffic, it will not only slow down your site but will also affect the visitor’s overall experience.
2) Bots Can Steal Sensitive Customer Information
Customers trust your company when they fill out a form or otherwise provide you with any personal information on your site. However, malicious bots that scrape websites may end up stealing any data that users put into forms and comments, including email addresses.
Two types of scraping include web or content scraping (“in which software automatically downloads webpages or resources, parses their coded information, and delivers it to companies for usage”) and contact scraping (email and contact info).
Bad peoples can use content scraping bots to repurpose content — for example, republishing others’ content on their sites, to skew with a website’s SEO.
Contact bots scan websites and download phone numbers and email addresses. Criminal hackers can then use the collected email addresses to send out spam and or launch phishing campaigns.
Cybercriminals use botnets to disrupt or overload a website by commanding their “infected bot army” to the point that the site cannot function properly This kind of attack is called a denial of service or a DDoS attack.
4) Bots Can Lead to Loss of Brand Reputation
And it’s not just a day’s worth of sales that could lose. Bots can lead to e-commerce business owners losing their brand reputation, customers, and revenue.
If bots are successful in extracting email addresses and sending unwanted emails containing malicious links, cyber criminals can steal sensitive data such as your customers’ bank information. Bad actors can also create fake accounts to write false content and fake product reviews that affect your brand reputation. These types of activities can frustrate your customers and drive them away.
Once a website has suffered from a cyberattack, it’s often hard to recover completely, particularly if you’re a small or medium business.
What You Can Do About Bad Bots
Whether it’s your entire brand reputation at stake or a temporarily inaccessible website, bots can affect your overall business. However, it is only bad bots you need to be wary of, not good bots that actually help your website’s health. Below are concrete steps you can take to eliminate the adverse effects of bad bots entering your site.
1) Require CAPTCHA
One way to separate bad bots from good bots is by using a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), which comes in different forms.
2) Consider Using a CDN Service
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a highly-distributed platform of servers that helps minimize delays in loading web page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. This helps users around the world view the same high-quality content without slow loading times.
A CDN is important because it loads web pages faster, minimizes the risk of traffic spikes, ensures website stability, offers better site performance, and improves users’ experience in terms of speed. As mentioned, users with good experience with a website are likely to come back.
3) Add HTTPS to Your Site
One of the first steps in securing your site is adding HTTPS to your site. While doing so won’t prevent bots from entering your site directly, it will create an encrypted channel between your website visitors and your site.
You should also install an SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer), “a global standard security technology that enables encrypted communication between a web browser and a web server.”
4) Put Website Security First
Businesses should invest in website security to protect their users’ information from bad bots, especially if you’re an e-commerce website that takes online payments.
Customers that save their bank information online might not be aware that bad bots are after them. That is why business owners must make sure that transactions on their websites are secure for customers.
Cybersecurity company suggests these website security options (depending on your particular business):
- DDoS Mitigation
- APT Protection
- Web Application Firewall
- Insider Threat Prevention
- Bot Management
- Access Management and IP Blocking
- Account Takeover Protection
- API Security
Final Thoughts on Bad Bots
Good bots can help online business owners in several ways, but bad bots can do a lot of very expensive damage to businesses.
If business owners do not take care of bad bots that come to their website, they can lose customers, revenue, and brand reputation in a short time span. That is a big loss for companies that rely solely on their online business.
Insightin Technology team are highly skilled and experienced waiting for making your site fully secured. Contact us for further information.