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What Are Bots and Why Should You Be Careful With Them?

What Are Bots and Why Should You Be Careful With Them?

by Alex Hales

Learning what bots are will help you identify how to use these resources responsibly and, more importantly, protect yourself from those trying to affect your systems. Find out all about it here!

Anyone who has been in the world of the Internet, software, Artificial Intelligence or social networks for some time will have already read or heard about the famous “bots” or computer robots.

If this is your case, surely you have a concept already formed in your head about what bots are and what they are for, right?

However, it is very likely that the knowledge you have about them is just the tip of the iceberg and, in this post, DiscordTree will tell you from start to finish what bots are and why you should be very careful with this resource.

What are bots?

“Bot” is a concept that derives from the same meaning of robot. Which leads us to quickly think that it is an automated system in order to perform various tasks.

In short, bots are computer programs designed to carry out different actions repetitively and predefined to free up workload for a human being.

Which makes them a kind of “helpers” so that a person can carry out a task much faster without thinking about those initiatives that are boring and repetitive.

Their nature allows them to execute actions much faster than a human being. And it is that for a computer program a million tasks can be done literally in a second —obviously depending on the processing power of the equipment that executes them.

Which makes them a perfect ally to automate things like:

  • Catalog websites;
  • Respond to messages to customers on social networks;
  • Send emails;
  • Program websites;
  • Among many others.

But —there is always a “but”— they are also used to carry out malicious missions and take advantage of system vulnerabilities or characteristics to gain control and favor one person at the expense of another or others.

How do bots work?

To fully decipher what bots are and what they are for, it is vital to understand how they work.

To this end, it is necessary to clarify the differences between a computer bot and an Internet bot.

Discover them!

  • Computer bot

A computer bot is a software program that performs various actions on a device in a sequence described in its source code in order to perform a given task.

Often, they are designed to mimic human behavior, such as a bot created to crawl websites in order to position them in the SERPs.

The bot is also the Internet

An Internet bot is a program similar to a computer bot but adding one more layer: its presence within the network.

What makes them —generally— allies for organizations looking for programs capable of interacting with the Internet and facilitating their work.

For example, an Internet bot could be able to execute an email marketing campaign, respond to messages, serve customers through chat, fill in online forms, and search for information, among others.

So, DiscordTree can say that bots work through commands established in their code in order to carry out tasks in an automated way, facilitating people’s work and freeing them from the time and energy needed to execute them.

What is possible thanks to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and cognitive computing, replicating tasks in?

  • Language processing: structuring, understanding and assigning meaning to words.
  • Reasoning: systematizing and organizing ideas for problem solving through logic.
  • Navigation: planning actions within environments where you can operate.

Bot risks

Now that you know what bots are and what their nature is, it is time to talk about a topic that is unknown to many: the real threat of bots to people, companies and organizations.

Although a bot can become a great resource to perform tasks and automate the workflow of thousands of people around the world, it is important to recognize that there are a large number of them that cause havoc in the life and functioning of devices.

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