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What is a bot?

What is a bot?

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. Bots often mimic or replace human actions and are commonly used for 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 activities.

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 detrimental bots are programmed to infiltrate 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: Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) technologies, chatbots replicate human conversation and can handle customer inquiries on behalf of the support team. Advanced chatbots like Amazon Alexa possess high intelligence and engage in natural conversations, earning the designation of knowledge chatbots.
  • Web crawlers: Search engine bots known as web crawlers or spiders play a crucial role in scanning and indexing web pages across the internet. They aid search engines in providing an enhanced search experience by extracting data to understand the structure and relevance of web content.
  • Scrapers: Also referred to as web scraping crawlers, scrapers are designed to scan and download specific online content. For example, ecommerce businesses utilize scraper bots to monitor real-time product prices on various retail platforms. Marketers employ scrapers with natural language capabilities to perform sentiment analysis on social media feeds.
  • Shopping bots: Shopping bots browse and compare product prices across multiple websites, helping customers discover the best deals available. Additionally, shopping bots can provide personalized recommendations via instant messenger apps.
  • Monitoring bots: By continuously scanning systems for bugs and malicious software, monitoring bots minimize the risk of security incidents. They collect and analyze user interaction data and web traffic to identify unusual web activity and promptly alert users. Some monitoring bots collaborate with other bots, such as chatbots, to ensure seamless performance.

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, an excessive influx of 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: These harmful bots can flood message boards, chat rooms, apps, and websites with unwanted spam and advertisements. Moreover, they can pretend to be human, tricking people into sharing personal and sensitive information like credit card details, financial data, or login credentials.
  • Spambots: These bots infiltrate systems and gather contact information for the purpose of sending spam messages.
  • DoS bots: Cybercriminals infect computers and smart devices with bots to create a botnet. Utilizing a botnet, threat actors can engage in activities like identity theft, malware dissemination, spam propagation, website overload to disrupt its proper functioning, or even conduct online platform takedowns.
  • Click Bot: Click bots assist cybercriminals in defrauding advertisers or deceiving websites by artificially clicking on ads, buttons, or other hyperlinks. Apart from ad fraud, click bots may aid malicious actors in influencing online polls or fabricating traffic numbers.

Proxies in bot management

Proxies play a vital role in dealing with both good and malicious bots. Firstly, they assist in managing good bots by allowing websites to differentiate between human and automated traffic, granting special access to beneficial bots like search engine crawlers or customer service bots. Secondly, proxies aid in detecting and mitigating malicious bots by analyzing traffic characteristics and employing techniques such as bot signatures, behavioral analysis, and CAPTCHA challenges. They also facilitate IP blocking and filtering to restrict access from known malicious bot IP addresses. Proxies can distribute incoming bot traffic across multiple servers or data centers, ensuring efficient resource utilization and preventing service disruptions. Lastly, proxies enable real-time monitoring and analysis of bot behavior, identifying suspicious activities and enhancing security measures.

Proxies act as a crucial defense mechanism, safeguarding websites from unwanted bot activities while maintaining a secure user experience. Reach out to GoProxies team, so we could suggest you the best type of proxies for your specific needs.

Copywriter

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.

FAQ

What Are Rotating Residential Proxies?
Rotating Residential Proxies offer you the best solution for scaling your scraping without getting blocked.

Rotating proxies provide a different IP each time you make a request. With this automated rotation of IPs, you get unlimited scraping without any detection. It provides an extra layer of anonymity and security for higher-demand web scraping needs.

IP addresses change automatically, so after the initial set up you’re ready to scrape as long and much as you need. IPs may shift after a few hours, a few minutes or after each session depending on your configuration. We do this by pulling legitimate residential IPs from our pool.
Why Do You Need Rotating Residential Proxies?
There are a number of use cases for rotating residential proxies. One of the most common ones is bypassing access limitations.

Some websites have specific measures in place to block IP access after a certain number of requests over an extended period of time.

This limits your activity and hinders scalability. With rotating residential IP addresses, it's almost impossible for websites to detect that you are the same user, so you can continue scraping with ease.
When to Use Static Residential Proxies Instead?
There are particular cases where static residential proxies may be more useful for your needs, such as accessing services that require logins.

Rotating IPs might lead to sites not functioning well if they are more optimised for regular use from a single IP.

Learn if our static residential proxies are a better fit for your needs.
Can I choose the IP location by city?
Yes. GoProxies has IPs spread across almost every country and city worldwide.
Can I choose the IP location by country state?
Yes. GoProxies has IPs spread across X countries with localised IPs in every state.

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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