Virtually every electronic device that connects to the internet contains unique characteristics which allow it to be identified with a very high degree of certainty. Device fingerprinting is a technique used by NS8’s proprietary technology to forensically identify each device. 

Device fingerprints consider both the hardware and software utilized by website visitors. Hardware details are combined with browser information to form the basis of each device fingerprint. 

Some of the identifying characteristics contained within each fingerprint include device type, operating system, user logins, internet history, and many other attributes. When combined with unique data associated with each device, users can be reliably identified, even when they move from device to device.

How Are Device Fingerprints Attained?

The use of cookies is the most common form of internet fingerprinting. These text files which are sent by a website, identify sessions, users, and devices. Cookies are also used for user authentications and to track other websites that a visitor has already been to.

When cookie data is combined with other user attributes, device fingerprints can track users as they move from smartphones to desktop computers, or vice versa. This is also known as cross-browser tracking and can be applied to users who move between different apps or browsers on the same device or computer.

How Are Device Fingerprints Used?

Device fingerprints are very important in establishing different risks for fraud. They can help reveal when a user is attempting to mask their device and/or identity, and alert merchants to situations when component values for a given user don’t match what one might expect to find. Other attributes, such as the frequency of which a given device visits or navigates a site, can be indicators that a device is running a bot script or is infected by malware.

Did this answer your question?