It was interesting for me to note whenever I post something on the Net, to find at least eight bots are following me around. That became evident as a result of my daily “Today’s Pic” feature on Twitter; for if I immediately went to my photo gallery’s admin section after posting the 140-character tweet—complete with a link to Art Share—a listing of all the hits were found denoting the time, date, and IP addresses of those who immediately visited, most of whom were bots: creeping, crawling spiders, gathering all their pertinent information, which is fine with me for being listed well in the search engines.
How do I know that? It’s easy to copy and paste those identifying digits from my gallery’s administrative section, into a field at a resource Website on the blessed Internwebs. From most locator sites, one can find from what ISP the Internet address originated, where the business is located, and from which locality the individual user resides.
Who are these bots? The most prevalent one is Google, followed by Amazon.com, who can at times list itself with several entries and various addresses, all originating from Ashburn, VA. Third in line is Topsy Labs; OVH from France is next; Microsoft is in there too, followed by a bot from the Ukraine, one found from Wowrack, and even a trailer from Twitter, rounding out the innocuous octave. When Twitter posted to Linkedin and visa-versa, a bot from the latter would show up as well; and not to mention Facebook, when posting there also.
Then there’s my other site on Flickr, where I keep my spoofs and call them, “The Last Post.” Directly after posting the latest bit of nonsense, I’ll tweet something on Twitter, announcing its arrival. The hit odometer on the relative page at Flickr, within a nanosecond, shows up with eight to eleven unique visits from various sources. One cannot tell from which ISP they came, but I would be willing to bet the first eight were the ones previously listed.
Another eye-opener is an add-on to the Firefox browser called “Do Not Track Online.” The software blocks hundreds of tracking companies, picked up from millions of sites; varmints who follow one’s footsteps along the Information Super Highway (I love that old term). A list of whom, and a running tally of how many were caught and blocked are available with a mouse’s click: it’s quite a revelation, complete with utter revulsion and feelings of being personally violated.
Malware, spyware, viruses, Trojan Horses, worms, high-jackers of one’s identity; Nigerian scams, wham, bam, thank you ma’am; beware on the Internet if you value your privacy. One never knows when sundry information collected can come back and bite you in the buttocks!