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What is a bot?

Bots: The Good and the Bad Explained

A bot refers to a software application designed to perform specific tasks. These automated programs execute their instructions independently, eliminating the need for human intervention to initiate them each time. A well-programmed bot mimics or replaces human activity and performs repetitive tasks, completing them at a considerably faster pace than their human counterparts.

Typically, bots function through network connections. In fact, over half of Internet traffic consists of bots scanning content, engaging with webpages, conversing with users, or searching for potential targets for malicious attacks.

While some bots serve beneficial purposes, like search engine bots indexing content for search results or customer service bots aiding users, others are considered "malicious" bots. These types of bots are programmed to break into user accounts, scour the web for contact details to facilitate spamming, or engage in other harmful endeavors. Each bot that connects to the Internet possesses an associated IP address.

Good Bots and How They Are Used

Good bots play a pivotal role in helping companies scale their operations, enhance customer engagement, and increase conversion rates. One prime example is the use of customer service bots, which enable businesses to promptly respond to customer complaints.

These bots bring numerous benefits to companies, including the ability to extend operation hours and provide services at any time. By optimizing existing resources and reaching a wider audience, bots help businesses maximize their potential. Moreover, they free up human employees from repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on more meaningful and strategic initiatives. Finally, bots collect valuable data that can be utilized for analytics and business intelligence, offering insights for better decision-making and performance optimization.

Here are several examples of popular beneficial bots commonly employed in enterprise applications today:


Chatbots have transformed the customer-business relationship by offering quick responses and constant support. These intelligent assistants can address various types of questions, from basic to more complicated issues. Utilizing natural language processing and machine learning, chatbots can understand and provide timely and accurate information. Additionally, they provide consistent responses, guaranteeing the same quality of service to all customers regardless of the time.

Apart from just assisting customers, chatbots are now being used in different sectors to simplify tasks and improve productivity. In the healthcare industry, for example, chatbots can help with booking appointments, assessing symptoms, and reminding patients to take medication, which reduces the workload for medical staff and enhances the patient's overall experience. Similarly, in finance, chatbots are utilized for tasks such as checking account information, notifying about transactions, and offering customized financial advice, which makes it easier and more convenient for customers. With businesses realizing the potential of chatbots, their capabilities are expected to grow even further, leading to increased automation and innovation in various industries.

Web Crawlers

Internet search engines utilize web crawlers, also known as spider bots or web scraping bots, as essential instruments to categorize and manage the extensive volume of online content. These automated tools methodically navigate through web pages, tracking links from page to page, and gathering data in the process. Through the examination of web page content and layout, web crawlers aid search engines in assessing relevance and assigning rankings to pages in search results. Furthermore, they regularly revisit websites to refresh their indexes with updated content and modifications, guaranteeing search results display the most current information possible.

Apart from search engines, web crawlers have a wide range of uses in different fields like data mining, market research, and website monitoring. Businesses employ web crawlers to collect data for competitive analysis, monitor market trends, and keep track of online mentions related to their brand or products. In addition, scholars utilize web crawling methods to amass data for their academic research and examine patterns across various online platforms. With the rapid expansion of online content, web crawlers are essential for navigating and extracting valuable insights from the vast expanse of the internet. As technology advances, web crawlers are constantly developing and becoming more sophisticated in their ability to efficiently and accurately retrieve information from the web.


Scrapers, also known as web scrapers or data scrapers, are tools created to automatically retrieve specific information from websites. Unlike web crawlers, which concentrate on organizing content throughout the internet, scrapers focus on extracting particular data elements from individual web pages. By navigating through the structure of web pages, scrapers identify and gather desired information like product prices, contact details, or news stories. Depending on the user's needs, scrapers can handle different types of content, including text, images, and multimedia files. By utilizing programming languages such as Python and libraries like BeautifulSoup and Scrapy, developers can design personalized scrapers to meet their unique data extraction requirements.

Scrapers have a wide range of uses in various industries and scenarios. Online retailers utilize scrapers to gather information on prices, monitor product availability, and analyze customer feedback. Market analysts use scrapers to gather data on consumer choices, monitor market trends, and get insights into market behavior. Journalists and media outlets also make use of scrapers to collect information for investigative reporting, analyze public opinion, and uncover newsworthy stories. While web scraping provides valuable opportunities for data collection and analysis, it also brings up ethical and legal concerns, especially regarding copyright infringement, data privacy, and violations of terms of service. Therefore, it is crucial for developers and users of scrapers to follow ethical standards and legal regulations to ensure responsible and lawful scraping practices.

Shopping Bots

Price comparison engines, also referred to as shopping bots or shopping assistants, are computer programs created to assist consumers in locating the most advantageous offers on goods and services throughout the web. These bots gather data on products and prices from multiple online stores, enabling users to easily evaluate choices and make well-informed buying choices. In addition to supplying features like price notifications, product evaluations, and personalized suggestions, shopping bots deliver a one-stop shop for browsing and analyzing goods, thereby helping customers save time and energy while allowing them to uncover the most economical offers possible.

Shopping bots not only help in comparing prices but also work with online shopping websites to offer personalized recommendations and manage shopping carts. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, these bots can study user habits and choices to suggest products that cater to individual preferences. Additionally, some shopping bots utilize chatbot technology, allowing users to have conversations to get product suggestions, track orders, or solve queries. With the increasing trend of online shopping, shopping bots become essential in improving the shopping experience by making it easier to find and buy products at competitive prices.

Monitoring Bots

Surveillance bots, also referred to as monitoring bots or tracking bots, are automated instruments created to monitor and evaluate different facets of online behavior. These bots function on a variety of digital channels, including websites, social media platforms (as social bots), forums, and instant messaging applications. They are programmed to monitor particular keywords, subjects, or user engagements instantaneously, allowing businesses, groups, and individuals to keep abreast of pertinent conversations, patterns, and occurrences. By tracking brand references, industry updates, public attitudes, or emerging concerns, monitoring bots offer valuable information for making strategic decisions, managing reputation, and responding to crises.

Besides just following discussions online, surveillance robots also have the ability to analyze data to recognize trends, pinpoint irregularities, and create useful reports. By handling large amounts of data effectively, these robots aid users in recognizing patterns, understanding public sentiment, and evaluating the impact of marketing initiatives or communication plans. Additionally, monitoring robots can be tailored to track adherence to rules, identify fraudulent behavior, or detect possible security risks. Given the increasing number of digital communication platforms and the constant stream of online data, monitoring robots are crucial tools for businesses and groups looking to stay ahead in managing their online presence and minimizing risks.

Malicious Bots and How They Are Used

Any actions performed automatically by a bot that contravene the intentions of a website owner can be classified as malicious. Bots engaging in cybercrime activities, such as identity theft or account takeover, also fall into the category of "bad" bots. It is important to note that while certain actions carried out by bots may not be illegal, they can still be considered malicious.

Furthermore, excessive bot traffic has the potential to overwhelm the resources of a web server, resulting in a slowdown or complete disruption of service for legitimate human users attempting to access a website or application. In some instances, this may be a deliberate act, taking the form of a Denial of Service (DoS) or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

Here are some examples of malicious bots and how they can be used:

Malicious Chatterbots

Malicious chatbots are a serious threat to online communities as they flood various platforms with unwanted spam and advertisements. These deceptive bots imitate human speech to deceive users and disrupt the integrity of digital interactions. Through manipulation, they can coerce individuals into sharing personal and sensitive information, putting their security and privacy at risk. This covert behavior not only compromises user safety but also damages the reputation of the platforms where these malicious activities take place.

Preventing harmful chatterbots requires strong actions to identify and reduce their influence effectively. One possible approach is using sophisticated AI algorithms that can differentiate between authentic human conversations and spam generated by bots. Furthermore, online platforms can require rigorous verification processes for users and use moderation tactics to remove questionable accounts and limit the spread of dangerous content. Educating individuals on the hazards of interacting with unfamiliar entities online and promoting good cybersecurity habits can also reduce the harm caused by malicious chatterbots. By creating a more protected and secure online space, those involved can stop malicious bots and uphold the credibility of digital communication platforms.

Spam Bots

Spambots pose a widespread danger to online communication channels, breaching systems to collect contact information in order to flood users with unwanted and potentially harmful messages. The automated tasks of these bots are focused on spreading spam emails, comments, or messages on different online platforms. Using automation, spambots can create a vast amount of spam content quickly, flooding inboxes and comment sections with unwanted ads, phishing scams, or links containing malware. Their indiscriminate behavior causes trouble for individuals, businesses, and organizations by disrupting work flow, undermining faith in online communication, and potentially putting users at risk of cybersecurity threats. Paired with malicious links, these bots can also act as malware bots.

Dealing with spambots effectively involves using a variety of strategies, including technology, teaching users, and enforcing rules. Using strong spam filters and email verification methods can help detect and prevent spam messages from reaching users, reducing the chances of them being exposed to harmful content. Educating users on how to spot and avoid spam, phishing, and other online scams can empower them to be cautious when dealing with suspicious messages. Enforcing strict policies against spam and online scams can discourage individuals from engaging in illegal activities and hold those who break the rules accountable. Taking proactive steps to combat spambots can help maintain the integrity of online communication platforms and shield users from the disruptive and potentially dangerous effects of spam.

DoS Bots / DDoS Bots

Denial of Service (DoS) bots pose a serious threat to cybersecurity because they are used by cybercriminals to disrupt websites and online services by inundating them with an overwhelming amount of traffic. These malicious bots work by inundating targeted servers or networks with a barrage of requests, causing them to become overwhelmed and unable to handle legitimate user requests. By exploiting weaknesses in web infrastructure or utilizing large botnets made up of compromised devices like computers, servers, IoT devices, and other internet-based services, server performance bot attacks can render websites and online services inaccessible to users. The consequences of DoS attacks go beyond inconvenience, as they can lead to financial losses, harm to reputation, and erode the trust of customers and users in the affected services or organizations.

To effectively combat a DoS bot, a proactive approach is necessary to detect, mitigate, and prevent such bot attack. Utilizing strong network security measures, like firewalls, IDS, and DDoS protection services, can aid in identifying and stopping malicious traffic before it impacts servers or networks. Implementation of rate-limiting controls and traffic filtering protocols can also assist in reducing the impact of DoS attacks by restricting incoming requests and identifying harmful traffic patterns. Regular software updates, security audits, and adherence to best security practices are essential for strengthening defenses against DoS attacks and minimizing vulnerabilities. By being proactive in defense, organizations can reduce the risk of service disruptions and ensure the availability and reliability of their online systems.

Click Bots

Click bots or fraud bots are advanced tools used by cybercriminals to carry out fraudulent activities online. These malicious bots are programmed to imitate human clicks on ads, buttons, or links in order to scam advertisers or deceive websites for profit. Through artificially boosting click-through rates, click bots can deceive advertising networks into paying for fake user engagement, resulting in monetary losses for advertisers and compromising the honesty of online advertising systems. In addition, click bots can be employed to influence online surveys, create fake traffic statistics, or falsely enhance the visibility of websites or content, ultimately altering the perception of real user interest and involvement.

Combating malicious bot activity threats requires a joint effort that includes technological advancements, industry partnerships, and regulatory enforcement. Advertisers can utilize fraud detection software and validation tools to weed out fake clicks from bots. In the same way, networks and publishers can establish strict verification protocols and quality controls to ensure that clicks are authentic and from real users. Collaboration among industry players is key to sharing information, creating guidelines, and coordinating actions against click bot schemes on digital platforms. Authorities also have a crucial role in upholding regulations that target online fraud, protect consumers, and hold click bot offenders accountable. By taking a comprehensive approach to tackle click bots, stakeholders can maintain the reliability and efficiency of online advertising platforms while looking out for the interests of advertisers and consumers alike.

Proxies in Bot Management

Proxies have a significant role in managing both helpful and harmful bots. To begin with, they help in controlling beneficial bots by allowing websites to distinguish between human and automated traffic, providing special access to search engine crawlers or customer service bots. Additionally, proxies assist in identifying and reducing malicious bots by examining traffic patterns and utilizing methods like bot signatures, behavioral analysis, and CAPTCHA challenges.

They also make it easier to block and filter IP addresses of known malicious bots. Proxies can spread incoming malicious bot traffic across various servers or data centers, optimizing resource usage and preventing malicious bot activity. Finally, proxies enable the real-time monitoring and assessment of bot activities, recognizing suspicious behavior and improving security measures.

Proxies play a vital role in protecting websites from malicious bot activities and ensuring a safe user experience. Contact the GoProxies team for recommendations on the most suitable proxies for your unique requirements.

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Matas has strong background knowledge of information technology and services, computer and network security. Matas areas of expertise include cybersecurity and related fields, growth, digital, performance, and content marketing, as well as hands-on experience in both the B2B and B2C markets.


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What does a bot do?

A bot is a software program that automates tasks on the internet. Bots can perform various actions, such as web scraping, chatting with users, or executing repetitive tasks, often with minimal human intervention.

Is a bot good or bad?

Bots can be either good or bad, depending on their intent and use. Good bots help automate tasks and provide useful services, while bad bots can be used for malicious activities like spamming or hacking.

Why do people use bots?

People use bots for various reasons, including automating repetitive tasks, gathering data, providing customer support, and even for malicious purposes like spamming or hacking. It depends on the bot's intended function and the user's goals.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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