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VERIFY | Are bots something to be concerned about?

If you use a computer, you've probably been targeted and affected by bots and may not even know it.

Experts say 50% of internet traffic is done by bots. Bots are programs created to automate repetitive tasks. There are good ones, and unfortunately many bad ones.

Your out of office response is done by a bot, when you search for a website or phrases for products and services they help find you relevant results. Good bots are regulated. Bad bots cheat.

Bad bots have malicious patterns and can send thousands of page visits to a website in a short amount of time, sometimes crashing the site. Bad bots can steal web content, send out fake news, skew real web traffic and even influence political elections.

Bad bots can also create fake social media followers.

How do you spot them? On Twitter, block any followers from a foreign country that you don’t know personally or are not verified. Especially countries such as India, Bangladesh, China, Ukraine, Russia or the Middle East.

If the account doesn’t have a picture of a user that’s a warning sign. Check to see when they joined Twitter and the last time they actually tweeted. If the account isn’t used, block it.

On Facebook, do not accept any friends you don’t know personally and check out their page before you accept them. You might even check with the person to make sure their page is legit. A good warning sign is if you have no mutual friends. Many hackers are catfishing legitimate accounts. Stealing pictures and even names and creating fake accounts.

To see how many of your Twitter followers are fake, log onto Sparktoro.com and use the fake follower audit. You can also use it to check to see if a follower is fake.