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Security & Privacy, Technology

Why spam bots are ruining the Internet 

Spam bots are growing out of control, and it’s getting worse. 

From crypto scams to health supplements to fake Roblox invites, bots drive everyone nuts.

Scam accounts are nothing new, but lately, social channels have struggled to cope with them. Bots manipulate follower accounts, generate sales leads, and make their backers lots of money. 

While most people don’t fall for these scams, the reason there are so many bot accounts is that these tricks work.

Here we’ll explore why the number of spam bots is growing, where they’re spreading, and what tools you can use to swat the mosquitoes of the Internet.

Spam bots are getting out of control

Spam bots, or fake accounts, are automated profiles that impersonate real-life behavior by following, liking, and connecting with other users. 

They frustrate people, threaten your online security and make it harder for you to see how many real humans engage with your content.  

In the crypto industry, bots are everywhere, and any time an influencer posts anything on TikTok or Discord, their replies are full of spam. Despite people reporting and openly complaining about this problem, social media companies are struggling to address the issue.

The danger is that scammers will make these platforms unusable if you cannot read anything without having to block thirty-odd bots that swarm around every post.

Bots are polluting our feeds

Any small business or freelancer using Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Telegram will encounter bots. 

According to Wired magazine, fake online users now represent 40% of all web traffic, poisoning entire marketing operations. 

There are many reasons why scammers create false accounts, such as: 

  • Brand impersonation that deceives and steals a user’s private and financial information
  • Selling fake products and services online to unwitting customers
  • Squatting on a brand name to either sell it back to the business for money or impersonate them by stealing their identity
  • Defaming a business to benefit a competitor

Whatever the motivation behind a bot, these fake accounts can hurt the reputation of your business. 

If you use social media to promote your goods and services, you must be aware of online impersonators and report them wherever they arise.

Protecting your business from bots

Unfortunately, Big Tech cannot stop bots, with the spam volume increasing on almost every channel. Twitter even enables the creation and deployment of automated accounts, partly because they juice user engagement metrics.

Spam is arguably the price we pay for a free society. Think about how often you provide your phone number or email when you buy something, register for an event, or sign up for a rewards program online.

However, you can take steps to combat spam and protect yourself from viruses.

  • Spot a bot – Spam bots that mimic real people are highly sophisticated and usually have a blue check mark and copycat avatar, so always check the user handle to see if it matches up. Stringy ugly digits are never a good sign.
  • Ignore all DM links – Do not click or reply if you receive an unsolicited DM on any social media platform. Almost all of these messages are fake and contain viruses.
  • Report every scam – Intelligent people get fooled by bot tactics all the time. So if this ever happens to you, report the account immediately. By doing so, you’re potentially sparing someone a similar fate.
  • Install CAPTCHA on your website – CAPTCHA (“I’m not a robot”) is one of the most effective ways to prevent bots from spamming your customers. It’s easy to implement and provides online businesses with extra security. 

Human users will also be familiar with the CAPTCHA process and solve them in seconds, so it’s unlikely to deter anyone from using your site.

VPN shield

Can a VPN prevent spam bot viruses?

A VPN cannot stop fake accounts, but it does provide a vital layer of security by hiding your IP address.

A virtual private network (VPN) is software that protects your Internet connection and privacy online.

A paid VPN is your best defense against spam viruses as it creates a secure and encrypted tunnel between your device and Wi-Fi connection, meaning no one can hack you and steal your passwords.

Using a VPN can help stop hackers from cloning your credit card or personal photos appearing on illegal websites.

A VPN subscription can also protect up to five devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles. 

The war against spam

With bots expanding on every social channel, you can never be too careful online so encrypting your Wi-Fi network is essential.

Big tech may say that reducing spam is a priority. However, bots are becoming more sophisticated every day, infecting legacy platforms and newcomers with fake comments and friend requests. 

Businesses and freelancers want their social content to inspire humans with wallets, not bots. Sometimes it feels like we’re fighting spam on our own, so we need better tools to fight them.

As if bots keep spamming your feeds and comment sections with virus content, it will hurt your business.


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Daniel Agnew

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Hero image of Tech Beat by Namecheap 21 October 2022Why spam bots are ruining the Internet 
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