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What are “Bots”?

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Technology continues to expand and improve as we know it. Between Apple gadgets that determine if your food has spoiled, and Amazon’s Alexa, it comes as no surprise that technology is changing the world for the better. But, have you ever wondered if these “high-tech” programs and gadgets could be deleterious, especially to the internet? These so-called “Bots” prove that technology isn’t always beneficial.

“Bots” are software programs that create and form messages, accounts, and social networks repetitively and send them into the web. These “Bots” can also be referred to as “web robots.”People tend to find bots quite irksome due to the unwanted spam created by these software accounts. Bots communicate with people through messages, especially on social media.

But why are “Bots” harmful to the internet? It’s simple; bots deplete over half of internet traffic. According to Time, “Bad bots make up 78% of the traffic put out by Amazon, whose simple-to-setup cloud services power much of the web.” In addition, some bots have the ability to spread malware (software created to cause damage to computers), and can access private information such as credit card info, etc.

Apart from the cybercrime-related bots, some bots may help the web, such a spider bots. One of the spider bots’ main tasks include web indexing (organizing and filing certain data or pages). Spider bots may also assist search engines by finding certain web pages. For example, Google uses spider bots to index certain pages you may have searched for, as well as web “crawling.”

It is no lie that bots continue to dominate our web, both in helpful and harmful manners. Cybercriminal bots can steal private info and send unwanted messages to users. But, on the other hand, bots, such as spider bots, assist certain software programs by web indexing and processing certain pages. Like historian Christian Lous Lange once said, “Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.”

 

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What are “Bots”?