Automation Bots – the Good, the Bad and the Helpful

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    Automation bots have gathered a rather negative connotation. The news is filled with stories about how bots are beating out real users in sales, how they are used to spam social media accounts and even how networks of bots (botnet) can cause other malicious attacks such as DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. However, there are also many ways that bots can be used that are helpful and positive.

    In this article, we’ll be looking at what bots are, how they’re used, and some of the different types of bots, such as ticketing bots that help users get their hands on extra tickets for resale. Check out this article for more information on ticketing bots.

    In this article, we’ll be covering the following topics on automation bots:

    • What are automation bots?
    • What are automation bots used for?
    • Types of automation bots

    What are Automation Bots?

    A bot is specially programmed software that runs specific tasks automatically. These can be used to automate certain simple yet repetitive tasks quickly and easily without the need for human interference. Automation bots aren’t a new type of software. They’ve been around for as long as search engines have been used. They have, however, gotten more advanced in recent years. Now there are many different types of bots available. They can do a wide range of activities, from helping users with customer support to making automatic purchases.

    While automation bots were first created to be helpful, cutting down the time spent on repetitive tasks so that focus can be placed on other important areas, some individuals have distorted these programs for nefarious purposes – but that doesn’t mean all bots are bad. There are many useful bots.

    What are Automation Bots Used For?

    Automation bots are used for a wide variety of repetitive tasks. One of the most important is crawling the content on web pages to return the most relevant results when a search query is entered. Can you imagine how difficult our lives would be if we couldn’t use the search function of search engines?

    Other popular uses of automation bots are in the customer service industry. Bots can be programmed with a set amount of responses to certain frequently asked questions. If a user visits a website and gets stuck, they can ask the bot for help.

    Bots can also collect information from public websites, which can then be used to make important business decisions. With a specialized bot, you can quickly collect prices from your competitors’ websites to ensure you price your products competitively and dynamically. You can also monitor market trends and determine what your customer thinks of your brand.

    Unfortunately, bots can also be used in negative ways. Attackers can use many bots to launch spamming attacks or even create a bot network (botnet) and launch a DDoS attack that can render a business’s website completely useless, directly impacting its reputation and revenue.

    Types of Automation Bots

    There are many different types of automation bots, each for their specific task. Let’s look at a couple of the most common ones you may encounter.

    Spider Bots

    Spider bots are also known as internet bots or web crawlers. The name very aptly describes what these bots do. They browse or ‘crawl’ through all the webpages on the internet, downloading them before finally indexing them. These bots are very beneficial as they are responsible for getting the results together for search queries.

    Scraper Bots

    Web scraping has become a very beneficial thing for many businesses. Using web scraping bots, ie. The tools used to automate collecting data across many websites allow people to gather a lot of valuable public information quickly. For businesses, this can mean more data regarding finances, business and market trends, competitors and more which they can use to implement pacific strategies and make informed business decisions.

    Spam Bots

    These are bots used negatively. They are programmed to collect email addresses from the mailing lists of websites, social media and other organizations. Once these bots have collected enough emails, the user can then use them to send spam, or they can be used for other nefarious purposes such as credential cracking, etc.

    Malicious Bots

    Bots can also be used in other malicious ways. For example, bots can be programmed to visit the same website simultaneously, causing a blockage that brings the entire website to a standstill, i.e. a DDoS attack. Alternatively, bots can be programmed to visit a particular website, network or system and then infect it with malware that will allow the attacker to gain control of the website.

    Ticket Bots

    Ticket bots are useful as they can help individuals buy tickets to movies, concerts and other events that might sell out quickly or are based in a different timezone. Many individuals also use ticket bots to start a ticket resale side hustle. By buying multiple tickets that are in high demand, you can then resell them at a profit. Ticket resale might not be as lucrative as sneaker reselling, but it can still be a decent side hustle.

    Social Media Bots

    These bots are very helpful when starting new social media accounts. These bots can be programmed to interact with different social media accounts. Using these types of bots allows users to send more traffic to their social media content, thus appearing more popular and sought after. This makes it easier to grow your following to a point where bots are no longer necessary.

    Final Thoughts

    Automation bots can be incredibly useful tools. However, their usefulness is entirely dependent on how they are being used and for what purpose. These bots are not sentient but get their instructions from the user.

     

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