Many of the tasks you do online are long and repetitive. Sometimes you find that you need to take action repeatedly or that you need to spend 24 hours devoting your time so that you don’t miss anything. There are many types of bots that come in to help you complete many of these tasks.
In recent years, the term “bot” is heard more and more frequently. Its use is widespread, and you will have come across many on the Internet in your daily life, but you are certainly wondering: what is a bot, and what are its uses?
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What is a Bot?
A bot is a software or a computer program prepared to perform repetitive tasks over the Internet as if it were a human, i.e., with a specific intelligence. For example: have you ever used a speech recognition system? This system can take whatever action you want: find a restaurant, put on your favourite song. The program or programs that are responsible for performing these tasks are called bots.
What Types of Bots are There?
You can find numerous types of bots on the Internet for various purposes. That is why you need to be careful, not everyone wants to help you, some are malicious.
To get to distinguish them a little more closely, I’ll show you the Types of bots that differentiate between “good bots” and “bad bots.”
What are Bots for?
Now that you know what a bot is, I’m going to explain what they are for. Next, some of the most used bots.
Good bot: Web Crawler, Web Spider, Web Indexer
A web crawler or web crawler is a computer program used by search engines (including Google, Yahoo, or Bing) that searches the Internet by following all hyperlinks or links found on the various pages. During this process, the web crawler collects information from each site. It is then analyzed against a series of “rules” to position or list the websites that they find most relevant or that offer the best content for the user.
If you haven’t struggled with this type of bot to position your website at the top, surely you will. As you know, one of the primary keys to online success is the positioning of your website.
Generally, as your page grows, the crawlers analyze your content. An important file on your website related to this type of bot is the robots.txt. If you want to know more about it. I recommend reading our explanatory manual from robots.txt for WordPress.
Additionally, in our hosting plans, you have the AwStats tool, which allows you to see a detailed summary of the 25 bots that have travelled the most on your website.
Good Bot: BOT RR. H.H.
We can say a few new things through social networks (RR. SS., S.M., or social media) as they are now an integral part of people’s daily lives. These communities are where you can share what you want, and you have the perfect showcase for introducing yourself to the world.
It is common to find bots on Twitter, Instagram, or Telegram. There are many bots here that you can use to improve your website. Many of them are responsible for posting content in an automated way to keep your followers updated at all times.
A practical example would be using one of these bots to automatically publish the latest deals from your online store, thus reaching a large audience without lifting a finger.
Another practice that is also very common is to increase the number of followers or the reach of your messages, although you need to remember not to abuse the “traps.”
Good bot: Monitor your Website
The number of operators and companies that have created their website has increased significantly. Suppose you want to know that it is very important that your website is continuously active and that your performance is good. That is why there are tools that are responsible for monitoring your website through a bot system. They continuously analyze your website and check its performance and availability.
Good Bot: Sending Mass Mail
It is widespread to send emails to multiple accounts simultaneously because it is often the same information that needs to be sent to hundreds of people. It is known as bulk shipping. A message is delivered to hundreds or thousands of people at the same time.
There are bots that you can program to send bulk emails to your users.
It is beneficial for sending notifications to your clients to publish a recent article or advertisement for your company. Others can help you send shipments from time to time to get your users’ attention or remind them that they left something in their cart.
Good Bot: Chatbot
Chats are a means of communication that has been with us for many years. However, they have changed a lot over the years. Now they incorporate new technologies that make a chat much more than a conversation between two or more people.
The chatbot is the most popular bot today since its most outstanding feature is that it is almost entirely based on famous artificial intelligence. These bots can have conversations with people and execute specific commands that we show them.
Bad Bot: Attacks
So far, I’ve only shown you the “good part” of the Internet, but remember that the network has its hostile part too. For example, there are many attacks every day, when I refer to attacks, I mean acts that attempt to damage someone else’s system or access them illegally.
It is very common for botnets to attack servers constantly. These systems use large numbers of computers (their own or someone else’s after infection) to launch attacks on one or more servers.
The most common attack with this system is the Denial of Service (DDoS). Therefore, all of our servers have a unique security system to counter this type of attack.
Bad Bot: Computer Vulnerability Search Bots
As you know, the Internet was created by humans, and we are not perfect. Due to this, there are various errors or failures in the systems in operation. In most cases, these errors are currently not detected and can be used by malicious users to attack this system or application. All of these flaws, which can exploit to compromise the system, are known as “vulnerabilities.”
To avoid this, I recommend that you update your applications. In many cases, it is not a whim: must update these applications due to a security flaw that has exposed a vulnerability.
By the time a vulnerability is detected, many bots use to find applications that are not Updated to exploit the vulnerability.
Bad Bot: SPAMBOT
I’m sure just reading the word spam will give you the creeps. After all, it is one of the problems that you had to deal with quickly every day. As I mentioned earlier, the Internet world is hostile too, and email is the perfect medium to reach as many people as possible. There are Several Types of bots ready to collect email accounts from all over the Internet and then send mass emails to everyone.
Whether it is through promotional emails looking for the scam. Your inbox may have been complete with emails that you neither requested nor are interested. These emails are spam and seek to bite open some of the thousands of people who have received them to deceive or bombard them with advertisements.
It would help if you were careful with these emails because, although the anti-spam filters will detect many, some will sneak into your inbox as a bank, favourite business, or social network. In the vast majority of cases, their goal is to trick you into finding personal information or to you.
Bad Bot: Brute Force
As you read the name, you may have thought of a rebellion of robots that have started using their strength against everything. Far from that, “brute force” in the network refers to attempts to forcibly access a private area, that is, continually trying your luck until you find the correct data.
Media is improving daily, and teams can do calculations faster. So security systems are outdated, and passwords have to be increasingly sophisticated. That way, it will take a lot longer for a computer to brutally enforce your password.
A 6-digit numeric password consists of 1 million combinations. A 6-digit number and a letter password consist of more than 2 billion combinations. Imagine how many combinations there can be if we add special characters. And with more characters comes a number that you can’t even read.
It is clear that if this has to be done by one person. Then a person can go through his entire life without achieving anything. As you may have predicted, some bots are used for this. Using a dictionary of passwords, personal information, or sheer randomness. These types of bots can scour multiple websites and test thousands of passwords in a matter of minutes.
This is why you find yourself in the situation so often that you have to enter your password almost in the form of a hieroglyph. And, as a simple password used in various places can be very easy for a bot to guess.
To protect your website from all these bot attacks. It’s effortless: implement a captcha. This system allows people to be distinguished from bots and block any malicious access from one of them.
Now that you know what a bot is and what types of bots there are, you know that. Even though many have been programmed for fraudulent purposes. There are still more that can make your life easier. They perform tasks that no one could do.
Bots are becoming more and more common, and in some cases, they are an integral part of everyday life.