It is a desire behaviour?
This is a bug https://github.com/NodeBB/NodeBB/issues/7814
Install Google Analytics and check there. I'm seeing the same thing, most of that extra traffic is search engines/bots. Google Analytics ignores them and gets you only meat user data.
@torn2 edit the theme template to remove the link to the topic if the user is a guest so they can't get to the topic page.
We've had people test Chrome, FF and IE... none work at the sites with these two firewall products, sadly. HTTPS might work. That's a pain until free certs are widely available 😞 Not practical to have tons of them.
When you edit a category, under privileges, there should be privilege called Moderate, you can give it to groups or individual users.
I feel bad that my forum isn't popular enough to be targeted by spam bots 😞