Top Ten Types of Bots You Need to Know About
With so many different types of bots out there, it can be overwhelming trying to get to grips with them all. However, with this handy guide, you’ll get to know some of the most common ones.
1. Shopping Bots
Whenever you use a shopping comparison site, like Compare the Market, search engines use bots to trawl the web for the best prices. Bots like Shopify’s Messenger bots also come under the term shopping bots. Shopify Messenger uses bots to update customers on their order status and send confirmation emails. There are also many shopping bots used for gathering deals and discounts.
2. Web Archivers
If you archive websites, chances are you’ll still get web scraping crawlers combing your site in order to preserve the data on it. This is how you can still gain access to archived sites. It’s a great way of preserving the web. However, web scraping crawlers can be utilized for unpleasant things, too, so you’ll want to be careful of them.
Most websites have a ChatBot now, and whereas they can be helpful, some customers find them annoying. However, they are great at pointing browsers of your site to helpful information that keeps them off your phone lines and makes their time on your site more enjoyable. ChatBots also increase the time your customer spends on your site.
4. Spreading Information
You’ll find bots that are designed to spread information on sites like Twitter, where they’re responsible for automating news. Many major news channels use information-spreading bots to maintain their feeds, and some influencers use them for similar reasons. TechCrunch uses bots to send personalized articles to its readers.
5. Just-for-Fun Bots
The internet is a diverse place, and it’s just as much for entertainment as it is for work, shopping, and information. Many bots exist purely for entertainment purposes, such as games against the computer or bots that make art. There are even some just-for-fun chatbots to help you pass the time.
6. Search Engine Crawler Bots
Search engines function via crawler bots, which trawl the web for information and statistics. Most crawler bots use URLs to traverse the web, and as they jump from page to page, they build a results feed based on your search term. Any search bar on any website will utilize search engine crawler bots to provide you with the answers to your search.
7. Hacker Bots
An unpleasant type of bot to meet, but nevertheless, the internet is full of hacker bots. These bots can use any security flaws to access other people’s networks or websites. Your passwords and other personal details can be exposed. Hackers usually target your finances, and they can also involve requests for ransom.
8. Scraper Bots
Web scraping crawlers are not always a good thing, and scraper bots can be utilized to steal information from your site. If there’s nothing sensitive on your site, some people will still steal your data and make a copy of your site. This may not seem like a big deal, but it could push you out of the search engine rankings.
We’ve all had spam emails or social media messages; they usually request that you click on a link, which is not usually a good idea. These links are created by spambots, but fortunately, public awareness of the dangers of spam is high, so many of these links go unclicked.
Whereas many spam links are harmless, there are some particularly nasty ones out there, so the general advice is to never click on a link in a spam email. Your email account should give you plenty of options in terms of reporting and blocking spam or phishing attempts.
10. Impersonator Bots
The purpose of impersonator bots is to guide or sway public discussion. This can be utilized to significantly manipulative effects on political events or public opinion on prominent figures, even politicians. Impersonator bots are usually involved in something political and are often used by political figures themselves to take down an opponent or boost public opinion of themselves.
Criminals can use all types of bots, but you should be particularly aware of spambots, hacker bots, impersonator bots, and scraper bots. This is why bot mitigation is essential.
With so many types of bots on the internet, you’ll find it overwhelming trying to remember them all. However, with our handy guide to the top ten types of bots on the internet, you won’t have to. Simply bookmark this article, and you’ll have a handy reference guide at your fingertips. Stay safe on the internet, and don’t forget your helpful bots, too!