Device Fingerprinting Overview

Updated on 28.07.23
7 minutes to read
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We like to say that emails are digital passports. But just as in the real world, having a passport is only half the story. Unique features, such as fingerprints, are vital to identifying someone. Device fingerprinting is to email addresses, what our fingerprints are to passports. Identify and track suspicious users with ease using SEON's targeted anti-fraud device fingerprinting solutions.


What is device fingerprinting?

Device fingerprinting is the process of collecting information about the device a customer is using to access your service. Device fingerprinting solutions are small, lightweight code snippets you can integrate into your website or app.

When a customer uses your service, the device they are using has to share a lot of information with your servers to display the site or app properly. This includes practical data points like the screen resolution, what fonts are available in the browser, and more technical ones, such as the browser version and cookie preferences.

How does device fingerprinting support fraud prevention?

By collecting this information, you can spot suspicious users and bots before they access your platform. You can also couple device fingerprinting with SEON's powerful Scoring Engine to unleash SEON's full fraud-fighting potential.

iGaming operators, for example, rely on SEON to block multi-accounters. Powerful device fingerprinting unlocks a wealth of information about user devices, while hashes help spot when several users are using the same device – a tell-tale sign of the profiles being handled by the same person.

Device Fingerprinting is also vital in preventing account takeover attacks that can result in fraudulent orders placed at online stores. When a user logs in from a new device (and maybe even a different country), your guard should be up. While it shouldn’t be automatically considered an attack, it's worth challenging them to complete multi-factor authentication.


Why is SEON's device fingerprinting unique?

It's designed and dedicated to fighting fraud. Not all device fingerprinting solutions are equal or designed for the same purpose. Our hashes are uniquely designed to help you spot suspicious activity.

What's more, you can integrate our device fingerprinting solutions with SEON's powerful Fraud API, and you'll have a completely customizable fraud prevention powerhouse at your fingertips.

We know it's rough out there – and we're always happy to help.


What can you uncover with SEON's device fingerprinting?

SEON's device fingerprinting will give you all the ingredients to bake your fraud prevention pie to perfection.

First comes the pastry, the outer layer that gives you an idea of what's on the inside. Our cookie, browser, and device hashes hold all device details together firmly with an exquisitely soft texture designed to help you look at the big picture.

Device hash – The base of the pie. While not the most unique part, its importance is apparent when something's off. The device hash can be the same if two of your customers are using the exact same model of smartphone. That's why the device hash is great for spotting when someone is trying to hide what their device is. (To be clear, this goes for the JavaScript Agent. When using the iOS or Android SDKs, the device hash is a highly unique identifier.)

Browser hash – The outer crust turns out differently in every pie, but some bits are very similar to others. Most browser hashes will be completely unique. There are a few edge cases when two users can share a browser hash, for example, when two identical smartphone models use the exact same browser version. Still, a browser hash match is probably pointing to the same device.

Cookie hash – The top of your pie, completely unique and formed by the warm gasses and nutrients steaming forth from your filling. No two pies are alike, and no two cookie hashes should be the same, either. For two cookie hashes to match, every cookie on two devices would have to match. It's simply more likely that two users are using the same device.

Now for the filling. We'd guess that most people jump for an apple and rhubarb, maybe a pear pie. But our favorite fillings are actually OS and browser versions, device type, and emulator or spoofing detection. Of course, if you ask our Whitebox solution, screen resolution, charging status, and system uptimes will hit the top three. Your favourites will depend on your industry and use case. They might also change as time goes by – maintenance is key.


How to get started

SEON's device fingerprinting tools – similarly to other device fingerprinting solutions – must be integrated into your website or mobile app to collect device information.

Once you've integrated device fingerprinting, you'll also have to enable the module in your Fraud API requests.

An easy way to get started is by checking out the default rules that rely on device fingerprinting. Of course, you can also add any device data points to custom rules to get the most out of your data.


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