What is a Bot?
Daniel Tarasov
Daniel Tarasov Published: 2023/07/25

Machines constantly serve to improve human lives and increase labor efficiency. Today a lot of that potential lies in the Internet robots or simply bots. Modern Internet cannot be imagined without the bots implementation. With the growing presence of all digital in our lives, bots are starting to play an essential role in almost every major process that involves the Internet. In this article we will dig down to bots lore. 

What Is a Bot? Meaning and Definition

In basic terms, a Bot can be pictured as the service program created specifically to perform repetitive tasks over a long period of time. To better understand what is bot mean, we can describe it as the main instrument for automating interactions with webpages.

For example, search engines highly rely on security and other bots that help maintain their day-to-day work. In this case, bots are used for web-indexing and analyzing content of web pages. With the help of bots service, search engines can keep sites cataloged and easily accessible at any time.

Overall, more than half of all the traffic on the Internet is generated by bots. Today, bots have become a part of everyday life for nearly every Internet user. Bots participate in your online shopping, deals research, security, management, or online banking.

For full understanding of how does a bot work, it is also important to mention the cases of misuse. In some cases, bots can be seen as a part of malicious actions like hacker attacks or spam spreading and security breaches. Ultimately, bots can service a lot of tasks and accomplish different goals.

Computer Bots and Internet Bots

In the modern Internet more than half of all traffic is generated and comes from the activity of bots. In the previous paragraph, we already discussed what is a computer bot. With that knowledge now we can say that bots practically became the main and essential tool for customer service, online search systems work, security, and lots of other processes on the Internet.

Most organizations and even individuals use bots to get rid of repetitive tasks that can be entrusted to a robot service. Bots typically deal with easy sets of tasks at much higher speeds than people can. For business, that can be a perfect tool for performing management for lots of simple, but time eating processes.

For example, a company can set up a scraping bot that will help to collect information about other deals on the market, retailers actions, security risks, or advertising programs details. Often organizations use lead generation bots to service their sales in certain areas. In these cases of use, bots can be powered up with a set of datacenter proxies for maintaining the best performance for a long time.

However, bots in online space can be used equally for harm and management of useful tasks. Cyber criminals also find use in bots and make them serve as tools for hacker attacks. Bots used for malicious purposes that involve password brute-forcing, spam spreading, packet analyzing, security trespassing and processing DDoS attacks.  

Bot Types

Now that we discussed what is a bot and how does it work, we can say that bots have several most popular and used forms designed for management of specific kinds of tasks. For example, most of the online customer service solutions use chatbots for maintaining service work. These bots help to service typical user requests and save customers workers time for more complex tasks. However, chatbots need constant input of new information, which can cause a slower response time in some situations. 

Other types of bots are called scrapers and spider bots. Scrapers are mostly used for data management and searching useful data across web pages. Spider bots tend to solve the same task of crawling across the weblinks and indexing web content. Bots like these can offer service for downloading images, HTML, JavaScript and other content. For this to work, both need to be powered with powerful datacenter rotating proxies

Some developers can use download bots to increase the visible number of completed downloads of their app. Bots of this kind are capable of automatic download of a dozen apps, software and other programs in a short time. However, the same bots can be used as the tool for DoS attacks and security violations. 

Another type of bots can solve the same tasks but in the field of social media platforms. Social media bots can artificially increase the number of followers, post views, likes and other metrics. These bots can also be used in a malicious way, to influence people’s opinion or to promote spam.

Examples and Uses of Bots

Bots tend to be a universal tool to service lots of different businesses and even regular tasks. In each area, this tool can offer its own benefits and functionality. Let’s look at the most common use cases for bots online.

The first association with bots will most likely be related to chatbots. These bots will simulate a real human conversation with the help of AI technologies and machine learning service. They can replace most simple interactions between users and management of the site or the app. However, more advanced bots like Alexa from Amazon can keep up with more complex conversations and solve more advanced tasks like management of order placement.

Speaking of shopping, bots can also be used in this sphere from another perspective. For example, bots can scan product labels and service price comparison among several stores. Based on this bot, it can also provide you with personal recommendations on good deals, etc. Businesses can also benefit from this type of bot by collecting information about competitors’ pricing policies. 

In the same manner, businesses can find profit in utilizing bots for web crawling or scraping. With web crawling service, bots can perform automatic management and scan sites and pages to find the data you want. This way, needed data can be found and structured even before scraping. Then, with the help of scrapers, any data can be downloaded and stored for further analysis and management. 

From a business perspective, companies can also look at the monitoring bot service. This type of tool can help you to constantly track your system for bugs and other traffic incidents. Monitor bots can also be combined with other bots to perform management tasks and track their performance.

In the same way, companies can use transaction bots to control security and management payment details and processes. This tool can automatically service the validity and security of personal data online during the process of online purchases. A function like this can be crucial for establishing the protection and security of financial data.

Bot Detection

Some of the bots can be tracked by security systems based on the unusual behavior on your system. If you think that your computer can possibly become a part of a botnet, it is better to keep an eye on your system trackers and security. For example, your PC can start crashing, work poorly, take a long time to power on or shut down. Also, you can see random popups on your screen or find programs you never installed. All these details may indicate a device’s infection and security breach by a virus or computer becoming part of the botnet.

Bots can also attack a company’s infrastructure. For example, you can control your traffic security trends and watch for spikes that have no reason. Bot attacks on your security also can be detected by traffic peaks at nighttime for your targeted market.

The activity of bots can also be given out by an intense bounce rate. This can indicate that the bot is targeting your site, visiting the first page and leaving immediately. So a high bounce rate in normal conditions can say about the attack on a security with a high probability.

You also can keep an eye on the source of traffic service on your site. For example, if you target the North America locations, but start to get traffic from Asia. Such activity can indicate bot activity or even a group of bots trying to breach your security from that region. Some of the bot attacks can include slowing down your server work with numerous requests. In the worst scenarios, these attacks can lead to sites’ security and domain itself going offline.

Another way to tell apart a bot and regular user involves tracking of speech patterns. The same language patterns from different IPs can indicate bot security attacks from one source.

Advantages of Bots

Most of the bot use cases lie in the commercial management use. With the right bot setup, businesses can better understand and track the customer base they are working with. Some of the bot tasks may require a private proxy use.

For example, more often companies tend to implement chatbots not only on sites, but in social media pages. This way, customers can get a fast response to most popular questions and learn all about the product service without interaction with employees. This can be an easy and fast way of growing a company’s customer base.

Bots can also fill the gaps of work for customer service in night or busy hours. Bots can easily entertain and keep several customers busy till the customer service employee will come to proceed to talk. Some businesses start to use bots powered with an AI to reduce workload and response time management even less.

Bots can also be used as the tools for harvesting and scraping information. Scraping tools are one of the most used in the field of marketing and advertising. With the right setup of scraping bot and static residential proxies, companies can collect information about their ad companies in certain locations or even cities. 

Malicious Bot Activity

Most of the time malicious types of bots are used by cyber criminals to damage computer systems security and steal sensitive data. One of the most popular bots for these activities is called spambots. They used to send infected content via e-mail or shady websites advertisements. Spambots can steal your personal information or place adware and other types of viruses on your computer security systems.

With 2FA and OTP codes becoming popular, hackers started using new tools for scamming and attacking security, like voice bots. With the help of the voice bots hacker can pretend to be a legitimate voice robot of the site you are using. Bots like these can call you and ask for a security service code to get access to your account management. 

File-sharing bots can use your search history to give false links in browser search. By clicking on that link your computer security can be infected with different types of viruses. Vulnerability scanner bot uses the same pattern of work to make an attack on security. Bots like these can try to access your network and scan it for weak points in security management. 

Infected computers can be programmed to attack one site with lots of requests, trying to shut it off. For these types of attack hackers use DDoS or botnets, made of infected computers. In case of malicious actions, the answer to the question: “What is a bot net?”, will lie in the field of cybersecurity definition. The bot net in most of the cases means a net of computers with breached security that were infected with special malware. Each infected machine can be controlled to participate in hacker attacks on security. This way hackers can corrupt security and the regular work of the site and blackmail site owners for some service actions. 

What Is a Bot: Difference Between Good Bots and Bad Bots

To fully understand the difference between good and bad bots, we first need to look at their definitions. 

This way, we can describe good bots as tools that aren’t designed to cause or service any harm. The main purpose of these bots is to perform useful and valuable tasks instead of humans. A good example of good will is almost any chatbot designed to service people’s calls at any time of day or night. This way, bots saved some of the real employees time while providing 24/7 basic support. The same way, bots work in stream chats. Bots like these can provide entertainment and manage the basic functions of the translation.

Another example of a good bot will be a scraper or parser bot that collects information for businesses online. This way, companies can compete more aggressively and provide customers with better deals when they need them.

Bad bots, on the other hand, are created with malicious intent built into them. They tend to be used to damage security and any systems or processes they can reach. For example, bots automatically create spam accounts and spread negative or false information online. Bots like these can also be used to artificially grow subscribers or like count on certain accounts. Some of the sites use this technology to create artificial good or bad publicity for businesses. Bots can even target specific people across several social media accounts to track their actions or to disturb and harm their security.

Bots have become the main reason for CAPTCHA security integration on most modern sites and social networks. These tools were created to separate real users from artificial instruments. However, most advanced bots can overcome even CAPTCHAS security restrictions. So, companies and site owners are constantly in the process of fighting such security risks.

How Do Companies Deal With Malicious Bots?

Hacker attacks in most cases rely on victims that don’t know how to stay secure on the Internet or on the ones who don’t pay enough attention to that. By adhering to the basics of cybersecurity, you can eliminate a lot of hacker treats. 

For example, a properly configured firewall can allow you to build the first and the main line of defense for attacks. If you already were infected, it’s better to try malware removal software or other antivirus solutions. In some cases, your systems may need a complete 

Businesses should always keep an eye on their cybersecurity and overall sustainable work of systems in use. First of all, it is necessary to keep all of the protecting mechanisms updated to the last version. Attacks of bots are always aiming at vulnerabilities that can be closed with the latest updates of your software. 

It is also wise to implement two or more factor authentications everywhere it’s possible. More than these additional investments in cybersecurity systems and in bot activity trackers can save a company from many hacker threats.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Please read our Documentation if you have questions that are not listed below.

  • What is bot?

    In most cases' bot can be understood as the program designed to perform simple and recurring tasks. After setup, a bot can make tasks like these automatically without any human intervention.

  • What proxies are the best to use with bots?

    Different types of the bots may require use of different types of proxies. For example, for scraping bots, it is best to look for residential proxies that can provide you with good geo-targeting abilities. If you are looking for a proxy to power up your large scale bot, a reliable set of datacenter proxies can be a good choice.

  • Why have bots become so popular on the modern Internet?

    Todays' Internet is strongly dependent on bots' work. Search engines use bots for cataloging all the pages, companies increase sales and collect information with help of bots and even regular users can use them for automating some of the everyday tasks.

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