Software applications that run automated tasks are called “bots.” More specifically, a bot is an automatic application used to execute simple and repetitive tasks that would be time-consuming, unexciting or impossible for a human to perform.
The term “bot” comes from robot. An Internet bot may also be known as a Web robot or WWW robot.
Bots can increase our productivity and help us track what others are doing and one of the best examples of a good bot is a search engine spider. Such bots troll the Web and index new pages for a search engine and bots are used by websites to promote shopping deals. In such cases, a bot will execute much like a search engine spider to index information about products on the Web. Some e-commerce sites take steps to ban shopping bots of this type, while their creators feel that they are simply providing a better service to their own users.
Most organizations around the world will soon use bots to sort and tag articles in real time. Soon we’ll see advanced bots controlling social media and stocks simultaneously. The intelligence community might set up bots for surveillance and for digital diplomacy. In organization Human Resource managers can use bots to train employees. Meantime, bots within the environment will help automate meetings and status updates and so on, saving time and increasing productivity.
Bots can be used for productive tasks, but they are also often used for malicious purposes.
Malicious bots are typically merged threats that come as part virus or worm, part bot and are used in a identity theft or to launch denial of service attacks. This is especially prevailing in a botnet, which is a grouping of computers that are all infected with a malicious bot. Other unlawful, or at least questionable uses, involve bots that produce email addresses for spam, scrape content or influence comments or votes on sites that allow user feedback.