Apologies to all you high-flyers of the I.T world out there, as I am sure you all know what one is, but to the everyday lay-man/woman, Computer terminology can be very confusing.
For instance, do you frequently come across ‘bots’ in the daily jargon of I.T?
Well, in simple terms a bot is a program that is on the network and it is programmed to automatically do certain actions/tasks. Normally these tasks are very simple, but the ‘Bot’ can do it repetitively and way faster than a human could do. (Hence, a derivative from the word ‘RoBot’)
Google uses ‘Bots’ to constantly search on webpages and index content, a team of humans would take forever to try to keep this up, searching the massive content of the worldwide internet. But The bots are able to keep Google search index fairly up to date, in very quick time.
Unfortunately, there is a ‘dark side’ to Bots, for example, spammers can use them to collect email addresses from the webpages and store them in databases. The bots are programmed to look for the email address format (text + @ symbol+domain) Again, this is much faster than a team of humans could harvest them by searching email addresses out from web pages, as a bot is just looking for the email address format.
So, to recap, Bots perform repetitive & non-creative tasks, anything that can be automated, even down to holding very basic conversations with human users, there are known as ‘Chatbots’
‘Good’ bots perform needful and helpful services, like search engine crawlers, or customer service ‘Chatbots’
‘Bad’ bots misuse the online service, they can be programmed to try and break into users’ accounts, or buy up tickets on events websites as well as the email address harvest in the above example.
How can I protect myself from these ‘Bad bots’? One of the many ways to try and protect yourself from them is by installing a good & reputable antivirus which includes V.P.N (virtual private network) With this layer of protection, you can block online threats, shield your devices, stop hackers and protect personal data.