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Device Fingerprinting: Is It Worth Using?

abstract representing Device Fingerprinting

Scammers improve their techniques and invent new ones from year to year. To successfully counter them and protect your customers and business from their actions, you should use modern business solutions. In this article, you will learn about the features of device fingerprinting fraud prevention, its advantages, and its disadvantages.


The process of collecting information about visitors’ smartphones, computers, and tablets is called device fingerprinting. It allows you to analyze users’ actions and predict their intentions, thus separating reliable customers and fraudsters. The technology collects a wide variety of data about machines:

  • Screen resolution;
  • Browser type;
  • Installed applications;
  • Timezone;
  • Fonts;
  • CPU architecture, etc.

In total, there can be over a hundred different parameters. Their combination makes this or that device unique. Installed scripts on your site respond to certain triggers that may seem suspicious:

  • Anonymous sessions;
  • Adblocking apps;
  • Emulation devices;
  • Time zone and language inconsistency;
  • Bots, etc.

These parameters are not prohibited and, moreover, totally legal. However, their combination, together with errors in order-making and payment, should raise suspicion.

Technology Benefits

Device fingerprinting has proven itself to be reliable in preventing fraudulent activities. It allows you to effectively identify untrustworthy customers before they harm your business and gives you the opportunity to take appropriate action on time. This solution can prevent a wide variety of fraud types:

  • Payment fraud;
  • Account takeovers;
  • Identity theft;
  • Phishing;
  • Spoofing;
  • CNP fraud, etc.

Moreover, it can be difficult for visitors to determine whether you use the technology on your site or not. Therefore, fraudsters may not be ready to be exposed and will not take any “masking” actions. The whole process of device fingerprinting is automated, so you can make data-driven risk scoring decisions in real-time.

You can use the data collected by this technology for other purposes, in addition to fraud prevention. By analyzing the information received, you will be able to understand your customers better, adjust your products to their needs, and thereby increase your income.

Technology Disadvantages

As with any method, device fingerprinting has a number of disadvantages that you should be aware of. The main complaint of data protection professionals and ordinary users is that this technology is used to collect personal data. Under certain circumstances, it could be considered a breach of confidentiality.

Since users are not notified that this method is used on a particular resource, they do not know who exactly receives their data and to what extent. If this information falls into the hands of cybercriminals, your customers and, consequently, your reputation will suffer. Therefore, in conjunction with device fingerprinting, you should use additional solutions to protect clients’ data.

Also, the key indicators of this technology’s effectiveness are stability and diversity. It means that each device remains the same and unique compared to the other. It is far from always true because you can change the settings of your PC or smartphone, use emulation devices, the TOR browser, and so on. Although you will use the same device, it will have a differing fingerprint. As you can imagine, it can complicate the identification of fraudsters to some extent.

Device Fingerprinting Efficiency

This technology, although relatively new in the field of data protection, has proven to be effective in practice. With its help, you can really detect fraudsters, thieves, and other offenders in advance. This method’s potential disadvantages can be minimized by applying other reliable techniques to protect the data. All experts agree that any business should take an integrated approach and use several tools that enhance each other’s features.

More on this topic:

5 Cybersecurity Gaps Your Business Should Watch Out For

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