How to Use Device Fingerprinting to Prevent Fraud

The idea behind device fingerprinting is to collect information about a user’s device (like a smartphone or desktop computer) that can be used later on to re-identify them. This is often done in web analytics and advertising contexts, but it can also be put to use to prevent fraud and stop cybercriminals from stealing your data.

Privacy concerns have been raised by privacy advocates and legislators across the world, mainly because device fingerprinting can be done without users knowing it’s occurring. As with any type of personal data collection, it’s important to gain user consent before collecting fingerprinting data. In the UK, companies must be clear in their terms and conditions on what they’ll do with the information they collect and how to get the user’s permission.

Inaccuracy of Using Device Fingerprinting For App Attribution

Device fingerprinting isn’t ideal for app attribution because it requires large amounts of storage. Unlike cookies, fingerprints are not distributed back to the browser, so they must be stored on the server side. This can lead to inaccuracies in attribution, especially when users convert outside of the attribution window. For example, if an install happens within minutes of a click, the attribution provider might consider that as an organic install instead of a paid one.

Despite these limitations,  device fingerprinting is still used by some marketers. For example, it’s used to track unique visitors to websites and apps. It’s also used to target ads and provide personalized content on a website.

How To Use It For Fraud Prevention

Device fingerprinting can be an excellent tool for identifying and preventing fraud, but it’s best paired with other tools that work to verify identity and reduce risk. This way, you can be sure that every step of the process is preventing fraud and not just detecting it.

Aside from tracking, device fingerprinting can help identify other factors that could lead to fraudulent activity, such as an attacker spoofing their IP address or clearing their cache before making multiple login attempts. This allows you to catch these fraudsters in the early stages of their attacks and prevent them from completing the transaction.

Adtech vendors also utilize device fingerprinting for their marketing campaigns, allowing them to target their users by the devices they’re using. This is an effective way to ensure that you’re only reaching your target audience and not just a random sample of the Internet population.

In addition to ad tech, device fingerprinting is also used by many security and fraud professionals, especially in the financial sector. Specifically, it’s useful for determining whether an account has been hijacked or if an unauthorized individual has access to their online banking session.

How It Can Be Used To Ban Fraudulent Buyers

Device fingerprinting is also a good tool for detecting and banning fraudsters who aren’t trying to steal money or credit card information. This is known as friendly fraud, and it can be a significant cost for merchants.

In the end, however, there’s no surefire way to identify friendly fraudsters. It’s also difficult to predict when or how they’ll try to steal from your business, and you’ll need to be proactive in identifying them and taking action. This can be a huge challenge for merchants, but it’s worth the effort.