IP Blocking Isn’t the Best Way to Stop Click Fraud – Here’s Why


You run a company that makes extensive use of online advertising. You have recently been made aware of the need to learn how to prevent click fraud. You begin searching online only to discover that blocking IP addresses is the most frequently offered solution you’ve come across. IP blocking is one way to stop click fraud, but it’s not the only way. It might not even be the best way.

Blocking IP addresses was pretty effective at stopping unwanted traffic back in the early days of the public internet. It was even pretty effective 10 years ago. But these days, not so much. The criminal element has become fairly sophisticated to the point of now having the ability to generate unique IP addresses for every instance of fraud being perpetrated.

What does this mean in terms of click fraud? It means that only scanning and blocking IP addresses leaves an advertiser vulnerable to fraudsters sophisticated enough to work around the issue. Any fraudster capable of writing a little bit of code designed to present unique IP addresses can easily get around counter efforts to stop click fraud by blacklisting suspect addresses.

Advertisers Need a Multidimensional Approach

Even without the ability to generate unique IP addresses, click fraud perpetrators have lots of other tools to work with. As for advertisers, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Defending against click fraud requires a multidimensional approach similar to fighting a physical war.

Conducting a successful war requires using every available asset. You have planes in the air, ships on the water, and troops on the ground. You employ different tactical approaches depending on the circumstances of any given battle. That’s the only way you gain the advantage. If you do not attack the enemy from all sides using every available asset, you lose more often than you win.

FraudBlocker.com, a company that specializes in click fraud monitoring and prevention, says stopping ad fraud in its many forms requires a similar approach. They back it up with a software package that simultaneously employs multiple strategies to identify and stop fraudsters.

For example, Fraud Blocker utilizes something known as fingerprinting to identify scammers who might be using headless browsers to conduct their fraudulent activity. Fingerprinting analyzes a number of different data points to assign unique IDs to every device that clicks an ad. Comparing data points and IDs makes it easier to identify fraudsters relying on headless browsers.

Fraud Prevention Software Is a Start

Fraud Blocker and competing packages can be exceptional tools in the fight against click fraud. But deploying a software package is just the start. That same multidimensional approach suggests combining human know-how and expertise with software to identify and root out fraudsters.

The downside of relying exclusively on software is that even the best packages don’t always get it right. Fraud protection software can generate false positives. Not addressing those false positives could mean lost revenue by denying legitimate customers the opportunity to see an advertiser’s ads. By the same token, software can miss legitimate incidents by not picking up on the right data points.

All of this is to say that advertisers need the help of human experts who know how to analyze data to uncover what software does not. Given the complexity of the business, we have probably reached the point at which advertisers probably shouldn’t be trying to handle these sorts of things on their own. They should turn digital marketing over to companies that know how to prevent click fraud with strategies that go above and beyond IP blocking.

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