How to Defend Your Website Against Data Scraping: 7 Protection Strategies

Abisola Tanzako | May 20, 2024

Can you protect your website from data scraping?

Data is undoubtedly the most important resource available on the internet today, especially for businesses. Data powers targeted advertising, client interaction, and many other important activities. Businesses must, therefore, take great care to safeguard their data, primarily because of the potentially disastrous effects of a data breach. Businesses run the danger of losing confidential information as well as their confidence from customers, legal repercussions, and reputational harm.

Nowadays, data scraping is a significant issue for businesses of all kinds and also for their customers. Businesses want to safeguard their data, and clients understand how scraping operates and fraudulent actors’ tactics. Using appropriate technologies and preventive steps, businesses may safeguard data against scrapers, preserve a solid competitive advantage, and save money over time.

What is data scraping?

Data scraping is obtaining data from websites and other digital platforms. It is being utilized increasingly by competitors, fraudsters, and cybercriminals to get an unfair edge or carry out various forms of fraud. Scripts or malicious bots are frequently used without the website owner’s consent to obtain data for this extraction. Scraped data can include pictures, movies, text, and other digital assets.

Data scraping can help gather information from websites without an API or exploit those sites that forbid access to their data via an API. This kind of data extraction uses contact sourcing for several objectives, such as content collection, data analysis, and market research. Although it can be completed manually, software that automates the process is typically used.

Web scraping can also gather data from forums, online markets, and social media websites. However, it can also be used maliciously to steal essential data, including trade secrets, intellectual property, and personal information. Thus, companies must take precautions against this increasing threat and be aware of the hazards of this kind of data theft.

Types of data scraping

Businesses experience diverse forms of data extraction, each possessing specific characteristics and possible risks of its own:

1. Content scraping:

This is copying text, photos, videos, and other digital content from websites without the owner’s consent. Examples of the data that can be extracted through this method include email addresses, phone numbers, and social media usernames. This type of fraud is frequently employed in lead generation, email marketing, and customer outreach. Malicious uses, like spamming, fraud, and identity theft, are also possible with it. Businesses may also experience identity theft, in which financial information, names, and addresses are taken from websites and other personal information. Such data scraping practices can cause a severe data breach, harm one’s reputation, cause regulatory fines and trigger legal action.

2. Website scraping:

This uses the HTML code of the primary article or web scraping. This language is not meant to be efficiently utilized automatically but by human end users. A scraper bot sends an HTTP request to a particular website. When the website reacts, the scraper searches the HTML content for a specific data pattern. After the data is extracted, the creator of the scraper bot converts it into the format of their choice. Javascript is a robust and efficient way to get text and links from HTML pages. Additionally, a linear or hierarchical HTML page can be targeted using it. Javascript is used in website scraping to extract content from websites and save it in a data file.

3. Price scraping:

This data collection method retrieves pricing details from different e-commerce websites. Competitors frequently employ this method to examine pricing plans and market trends to gain a competitive advantage. Customers can also use price scraping tools to compare costs on several sites and locate the most excellent offers. Nevertheless, since price scraping can result in lower sales and profit margins, businesses may suffer.

This is due to price scraping, which makes it simple for rivals to monitor each other’s pricing tactics and fosters fierce competition. Moreover, overusing price scraping may lead to server overloads and other technical problems that affect website performance.

4. Screen scraping:

This is the process of obtaining information from a visual output produced by a software program. This method uses specific software to decipher an application’s graphical user interface and retrieve essential data. It has grown popular because screen scraping software can automatically harvest data from various programs, including desktop, mobile, and web browsers. Using screen scraping tools, businesses can rapidly and efficiently gather data from multiple sources for analysis, reporting, and decision-making.

Furthermore,  screen scraping can help organizations reduce manual data input duties and increase data accuracy by removing human error. However, it’s crucial to remember that this extraction could present legal and ethical concerns, especially when obtaining information without authorization from third-party websites.

The disadvantage of data scraping

Although data scraping, also known as web scraping, is an essential tool for businesses to access and gather data from the internet, it also has a negative aspect that puts businesses and their clients at considerable risk. While there are many uses for data scraping, such as lead creation, price monitoring, and market research, it may also be used to perpetrate various cybercrimes, such as fraud, identity theft, and other illegal acts. For instance, using personal information that has been scraped, one can launch phishing attacks, apply for credit cards or loans, or establish fake accounts.

Trade secrets and copyrighted documents are examples of intellectual property frequently stolen and utilised to obtain an unfair advantage or make illegal profits. To worsen the situation, Scrapers can obtain sensitive information like financial records and client data by using sophisticated technologies to access private data on company systems. Businesses can get guidelines on legally acquiring and utilising internet data from various relevant regulations. Businesses should also ensure that any scraped data is used appropriately and does not violate privacy regulations.

How to prevent data scraping

The following methods will prevent your website from being attacked by web scrapers.

1. Login wall or auth wall:

Most websites, including LinkedIn, hide their data using a login or auth wall. This is particularly valid for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. A log wall restricts access to a website’s data to authorized users only. A request’s HTTP headers allow a server to determine whether or not it is authenticated. Specifically, certain cookies hold the values that need to be sent as authentication headers. If you are unfamiliar with the idea, an HTTP cookie is a little information kept in the browser. Based on the browser’s response from the server following login, it generates the login cookies. Therefore, your crawler needs access to such cookies to crawl sites that use a login wall. The contained values are sent as HTTP headers. After logging in, you may view the values by looking at a request in the DevTools. 

2. Use the Robots.txt file:

Robots.txt is a file that informs search engines and web scrapers that they can access certain pages on your website. Ensure that your robots.txt file is organized and readable. Make it clear which places you wish to keep off-limits to search engines and site scrapers. It’s important to remember that the robots.txt file is merely a suggestion, and while some search engines and web scrapers may abide by the request made in the file, many others ignore it. It may not seem encouraging, but the robots.txt file should be set up.

3. Include IP blocking:

Restricting access to a website based on a user’s IP address is known as IP blocking. You can achieve this by using a firewall or adding a code to the .htaccess file on your website or in one click using ClickPatrol. To prevent a web scraper from viewing your entire website, it is essential to identify and block its IP address. Please note that if the web scraper uses a proxy server, the IP blocking alone may not be effective because the scraper may periodically change IP addresses. However, proxy IPs can also be blocked on ClickPatrol.


Verification tests such as CAPTCHA are made to be relatively easy for people to complete on websites or applications but almost impossible for automated programs like content scrapers. CAPTCHA, short for “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart,” can be used on different parts of your website, like login pages, to tell if someone is a natural person or a computer program. By acting as a door, these let in only those who complete a test. When using CAPTCHA, it’s essential to ensure that your test is easily solvable because you want to let people in, and specific tests like those with unusual characters may be challenging for users with dyslexia or other vision problems.

5. Do not allow many requests on your website:

You can prevent web scraping by limiting the number of requests made to your website from a specific IP address or user agent. Rate limitation, which caps the total number of requests that can be made to your website at a particular time, is one way to achieve this. As a result, you can stop web scrapers from sending many requests to your website, which can cause it to crash. Implementing rate limitations can be an effective strategy to prevent web scraping.

Limiting the number of times your website can be visited in a specific time can reduce the chance of it getting overwhelmed by too much scraping. This approach not only helps safeguard your website from crashing due to an overwhelming influx of requests but also serves as a deterrent to web scrapers attempting to extract large volumes of data in a short period.

6. Make use of a CDN (content delivery network):

A Content Delivery Network is a big group of servers worldwide that work together to quickly and evenly give people access to your website’s stuff, no matter where they are. CDNs help stop web scraping by storing copies of your website and sharing things like pictures and videos from servers close to where people are instead of from the central server where your website is stored.

By doing this, a content delivery network (CDN) might lessen the overall strain on the primary server and restrict web scrapers’ ability to scrape content on your website. Also, if you have a backend secret area on your website, this is an extra degree of security if you want to stop bots from trying to access it brutally.

7. Track the traffic to your website:

To monitor your website’s traffic, you should take advantage of opportunities to identify potential bots, including those scraping your website. By monitoring your website’s traffic, you can identify typical traffic sources that can be viewed as suspicious and take action before they cause significant issues. Your website’s web host offers a section where you may view web server logs.

If you do not see anything to check into and you’re having problems with your website, you can ask your web provider to check the server logs and see any possible bot issues. Besides looking at your server logs, you can also use tools like Google Analytics on your website to check for any weird online traffic. If you find any suspicious IP addresses, you can block them.


Although some bots could be discouraged from scraping your website, content can still be collected manually by anyone scraping. Ensure that a login access point protects any content you wish to keep private. Data protection requires taking immediate action to stop website scraping. Selecting your web hosting wisely might give an extra degree of security.


Q1. What is the legal implication of data scraping?

Businesses that scrap data may face legal repercussions if their actions breach copyrights or privacy regulations. Businesses that obtain data from a website without the owner’s consent may be held accountable for legal damages and may face criminal charges if they gain unauthorized access to computer data. Businesses can be subject to extra rules and be forbidden from utilizing scraped data in specific ways, such as employing automated bots to gather data from social media networks.

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