Bot is a short form for Internet robots, are also known as spiders, crawlers, and web bots. It is a software application that is programmed to do certain task in an automated way. They may be utilized to perform repetitive automated jobs, such as indexing a search engine, grabbing information and more over the internet.

Bots are usually used to infect large numbers of computers. These computers form a “botnet,” or a bot network. They often come in the form of malware. Malware bots are used to gain total control over a computer.

Type of Bots based on their use

  • Social Bot:  These Are Bots that are used on social media platforms like Facebook, twitter etc. They are built with a sophisticated algorithm in other for them to be able to connect, communicated and establish a service among social network users.
  • Grabber: This is a Bot that automatically scans the internet and retrieves relevant information for a user base on the specific criteria needed by the user.
  • Web crawler: This type of Bot is use to access website and gather information on their contents in other to index them in search engine.
  • Transaction Bot: this type of Bot acts as humans. it is right to called them AI( artificial intelligence ) after all that is what they are. They are used to carry out transactions on behalf of humans and  to see the  completion of such transaction.

Some services that makes use of Bot

  • Shopify which allows search and share tracks through social networks like Facebook
  • GTBank with their automated whats app and twitter response to services  and request relating  to the  customers.
  • Nimbuzz social media application, which enable user to chat with a Bot.

How to know you are chatting with an internet robot

Below are the various ways in which you can know if you are chatting with a Bot, these ways are the work of various security researchers in other to keep the world of the web informed and secure as the needs arises. A fake social account or a Bot had the following traits.

  • Incomplete user profile: If the user profile does not contain a photograph, it is probably a Bot, as it is rare you see a real human social account to be without a profile display photograph, even newly created account do have a profile photograph.
  • Repetitive Posts: An Account that keeps repeating Posts or tweets as in the case of twitter is likely to be a Bot, as most Bot are created with algorithms to fetch information to post but they are not all that smart when it comes to posting new and relevant contents.
  • Followed by other Bot accounts: An account in which majority of its friends list or follows are having most of the traits of a bot is likely ti be a Bot itself. In essence a Bot attracts Bot.
  • Very active accounts: Though there is argument that they are humans who are always active on social media but it is quite different from a Bot, a Bot takes that to the next level. They are always active and if you notice the account post updates at regular intervals frequently then it is sure bet that such account is a Bot.

Two kinds of internet robots

It is important to note that not all Bots are bad, in fact Bots are built and developed to make life easier and aid us in our daily activities, but most individual use the power of the Bot for their malicious and selfish deeds.

Do not blame the Bot, blame the creator Click To Tweet

They are two kind of Bot, a Helpful Bot and a Malicious Bot. they perform similar tasks with individually different motives as each name implies

Helpful internet robot

One of the typical “helpful” bot uses is to gather information. Bots in such guises are called web crawlers. Another “helpful” use is automatic interaction with instant messaging, instant relay chat, or assorted other web interfaces. Dynamic interaction with websites is yet another way bots are used for positive purposes.

Malicious internet robot

Malicious bots are defined as self-propagating malware that infects its host and connects back to a central server(s). The server functions as a “command and control center” for a botnet, or a network of compromised computers and similar devices. Malicious bots have the “worm-like ability to self-propagate,” and can also:

  • Obtain financial information across the internet
  • Capture and analyze packets over a computer network
  • Exploit back doors opened through the use of viruses and worms
  • Log keystrokes of users password and other vital information

Advantages of internet robots

Bots offer enormous advantages, as well as disadvantages, but never the less, the advantages derived from a Bot is a risk worth taking, and also with the advancement in the development of technology, better ways of security have emerge.

We choose to go for the greater good, does not mean there is no bad in it. It is just that the good supersede that of the bad, and that is good enough for us to go for. Click To Tweet

Advantages of Bot

  • Available at all time 24/7
  • Faster than humans in performing repetitive task
  • They improve the user experience and are customizable

Disadvantages of Bot

  • It still requires the intervention of humans in other to manage them
  • They can be used for spamming when in the wrong hands
  • Users with the technical know how can make a bot malicious
bot malware

How to know if your computer is infected by Bot

  • Computer programs are running slowly due to background harmful programs running.
  • Pop-up windows and advertisements appear even when you aren’t using a web browser, just as long as you are connected ton the internet.
  • The computer crashes for no apparent reason.
  • The computer takes a long time to shut down, or fails to shut down correctly.
  • Internet access is slow for no apparent reason.