Detailed Guide to Device Fingerprinting

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Device fingerprinting has become an incredibly popular instrument for business nowadays. It is a process that helps you to identify any device using a combination of its unique hardware and software codes and IDs. Device fingerprinting is helpful during the customer identification process and can be done remotely with the help of a smart algorithm. Unlike cookies, these fingerprints have to be stored in a database.

Which Information Is Required?

To create device fingerprinting, you need to gather specific information. Based on processing this combination with the fingerprinting algorithm, you will get the exact data you need. Usually, the information you need is sent to the server every time during the web request:

  • HTTP headers;
  • IP address;
  • Agent string of the user;
  • Time zone of the client;
  • Plugins installed on the device;
  • Flash plugin’s data;
  • Device’s data: the operating system, language, touch support, and resolution of the screen;
  • Installed fonts list;
  • Mime-types list;
  • Silverlight information;
  • Timestamp.

The Use of Device Fingerprinting

Modern people don’t need to limit themselves to only one device while they are online. Switching from a laptop to a smartphone, they increase their productivity and enjoy the benefits of each device. Meanwhile, business owners suffer from the inability to contact their target audience. And while cookies were the most popular tool for online tracking before, they are getting untenable nowadays due to privacy-protecting services. Their main disadvantages are:

  • Cookies do not offer a secure way to track the use of mobile devices;
  • Customers may delete cookies in no time;
  • Cookies are favorite targets for ad blockers, which can easily recognize ads with their help. Ads can’t reach the audience blocked by smart AI.

This is why device fingerprinting is so useful. When cookies don’t help, you may use fingerprinting. This system is widely used in banks around the world. It may also protect online businesses from hackers. Here is how it works:

  • Store owners want to protect their customers from fraudsters. Since the customer’s identity is harder to confirm online than in a brick-and-mortar store, it becomes an easy target;
  • To protect the customer from double identity verification or several-step entrance, a business owner can implement a device fingerprinting system, which is more accurate and invisible for customers;
  • If the customer enters the store using a laptop somewhere in California, they can’t possibly visit the same store from their smartphone in Thailand. It is most likely that this account has been hacked; 
  • Without device fingerprinting, it would be challenging for a business owner to quickly recognize this situation and put on halt any further activities of the customer until the identity verification.

The Benefits of Device Fingerprinting

The digital world tightly entangles all the aspects of our modern life. It means that as a business owner, you have to keep up with new trends while protecting your customers and income from any cyber threat. Digital fingerprinting helps you to save your business from hackers and prevent customers’ identity theft. Using advanced device intelligence technology, you can improve your reputation on the market and attract more customers.