From virtual assistants to customer service representatives, chatbots have started taking on real jobs, making our lives easier and streamlining workflow.
While AI I has made some workspaces more efficient, there are also bad bots you should look out for.
Unfortunately, these bad bots aren’t rare. In fact, research shows that they account for 30% of internet traffic, resulting in billions of dollars in damage.
Recognize who you’re dealing with these ten signs you’re talking to a bot.
1. Incoherent or Nonsensical Responses
Bots often fail to understand the context of a conversation and, as a result, will provide nonsensical responses.
If you encounter answers that seem disjointed, don’t make sense, or are entirely unrelated to the topic at hand, you’re probably dealing with an automated system.
2. Repetitive Responses
If you’re unsure whether you’re talking to a bot, try asking them the same question several times. If they repeat the same answer, chances are you’re dealing with a malicious bot.
Bots often rely on pre-programmed sets of answers to common questions or prompts, meaning they’ll reuse the same phrases or information.
3. Lack of Personalization
Bots are unlikely to use your name in their responses, opting instead for a basic “hello” or “hi there” instead of a personalized greeting.
If you find that the conversation lacks any acknowledgment of specific details about you, it’s likely you’re conversing with a bot.
4. Inconsistent Information
Does the conversation feel inconsistent? Bots might contradict themselves or provide responses that don’t align with the previous conversation.
Robot responses are generated based on patterns in data rather than genuine understanding, so conflicting information is another telltale sign that you’re not talking to a real person.
5. Unusual or Inappropriate Requests
Be especially wary if you’re asked to give up sensitive information, like personal details, financial information, or login credentials.
This is especially suspicious if the question comes up early in a conversation or if it feels like an inappropriate time for such details.
6. Overly Quick Responses
It takes time to think up and type out responses. If the “person” you’re talking to is responding to you very quickly, it likely isn’t a real person.
Bots are able to respond instantaneously, so keep track of how quickly your responses are coming in.
7. Limited Vocabulary
Bots often operate within a predefined set of phrases and words, which can lead to a repetitive and overly formal conversational style.
If you noticed that you get similar responses, it might be a sign of a bot on the other side of the conversation.
8. Unnatural Language
Does the language used seem odd for the context of the conversation?
The flow of a conversation is another way to distinguish between a bot and a real person.
Humans are much more likely to use idioms, slang, or adjust language based on the topic of conversation.
9. Lack of Emotional Understanding
Robots don’t have feelings, so they tend to provide generic, dry responses and won’t express empathy in the way a human will.
A noticeable absence of emotional engagement can signal the presence of a bot.
10. Unusual Typing Patterns
Look at how the entity you’re talking to is typing. Is there anything off about the typing pattern?
Bots consistently use the same font, style, or punctuation with little to no variation.
They are also less likely to make errors, whereas humans might send typos and then correct themselves afterward.
Online Safety Measures
Of course, not all bots are malicious.
AI is used in gaming, education, cybersecurity, content creation, and customer service and has the potential to aid humans by taking on otherwise tedious tasks.
Still, it’s important to keep an eye out, as bad bots are becoming increasingly more advanced and harder to identify.
In fact, the amount of advanced bad bots exploded, and now bots at this sophistication level make up more than half of all malicious bots.
Keep away those bad bots and practice basic cybersecurity with the following measures.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication is a security measure that asks users to provide a second form of authentication, such as a unique code sent to their phone.
This ensures that even if login credentials are compromised, unauthorized users are still unable to access those accounts.
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Make it harder for a bad bot to track your online activity by installing a VPN.
These networks encrypt your data, making it harder for cyber attackers to access your information.
If you’re not sure if a VPN is right for you, download a VPN free trial and try it out for 30 days.
Beware of Suspicious Links and Downloads
If you think you might be interacting with a bot, don’t open any links that they share with you.
Malicious bots often lure users into clicking on links that lead to phishing websites or malware-infected files.
Regularly Update Software and Apps
Outdated software often has vulnerabilities that bots can hack into.
To avoid this, make sure you always have the latest updates, which often have the latest security updates.
We know this is easier said than done, but it’s important to keep up with the latest scams if you want to prioritize your cybersecurity.
This will help you from falling victim to the latest online threats.
With the tips outlined above, you can recognize who or what you’re dealing with and act accordingly.