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GIVT fraud detection: What are non-browser user-agent headers or other forms of unknown browsers?

Pixalate is an MRC-accredited company for the detection and filtration of Sophisticated Invalid Traffic ("SIVT") desktop and mobile web impressions.

According to the Media Rating Council’s (MRC) standards for Invalid Traffic Detection and Filtration Guidelines, there are two types of invalid traffic:

  • GIVT (General Invalid Traffic)
  • SIVT (Sophisticated Invalid Traffic)

One example of GIVT is “non-browser user-agent headers or other forms of unknown browsers.”

What are “non-browser user-agent headers or other forms of unknown browsers” in the MRC definition of GIVT?

non-browser user agent headers.png

HTTP or HyperText Transfer Protocol is the underlying structure for most transactions involving internet content.  HTTP uses numerous fields containing data about the nature of the transaction called "headers" which are separate from the content of the transaction itself. One of these headers is the "User-Agent," which specifies the browser or application with which a user accessed their content. When the contents of the User-Agent field are are unknown or non-standard, they are filtered out.

MRC-accredited ad fraud detection and prevention companies must be able to identify and filter user-agent headers or other forms of unknown browsers.

What are some other examples of GIVT?

Non-browser user-agent headers or other forms of unknown browsers are just one example of General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) as defined by the MRC. To learn about some of the other examples of GIVT, click on any of the examples below:

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