The term ‘bot lobbies’ was coined to describe a trend that emerged around 2011 and 2012: people using online chat platforms to coordinate illegal activities. Bot lobbies allow users to engage in anonymous, quasi-anonymous, or even public discussions about criminal schemes – usually involving drugs, firearms, or both. The most popular platforms used by bot lobbyists include Yahoo! Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, and Twitter.
Bot lobbies exist in many different forms. Some are simply online forums, while others are whole ecosystems designed for coordinating criminal activity. Regardless of the platform, users are able to create ‘lobbies’ – groups of users interested in specific criminal activities. When a person creates a lobby on a certain platform, other users can get involved by joining it. Once a lobby has been established, its members can use the platform to coordinate their criminal activities.
As with most things in life, the legality of bot lobbies varies by jurisdiction. In some countries, such as Germany and the United Kingdom, they are completely illegal. In others, such as the United States, they are merely considered to be a part of ‘cybercrime’.
Why Use a VPN With Your Bot Lobby Activities?
Because of the nature of the activities that take place on bot forums, it is crucial that users secure their connections while online. As you might guess, there are a few reasons why securing your connection while online might be more important than simply securing your connection when you are online. Here are a few of them:
- Increased Confidentiality
- Location Privacy
- Bots are a common target for hackers, malware developers, and other malicious actors. As a result, the security of your computer and the anonymity of your activities when using a VPN are highly beneficial.
- Since many bots are set up to do everything from drug deals to arms trafficking to money laundering, using a VPN means your IP address will never get linked to your real name (or at least, it won’t readily do so). This means you may never have to worry about being found out by your parents, your boss, or the police.
- If you are doing something illegal, it is always wise to take some precautions. Using a VPN when participating in illegal activities provides you with a layer of protection you may never have experienced before. This protection might simply be the knowledge that whatever you do online will never be traced back to you.
- Remember: even when you are not participating in an illegal activity, your computer still might be lying to you. Your device could be the target of a cyberattack at any moment, and data you thought was private could be available for the taking. While there is no way to absolutely guarantee that your computer will never be hacked, using a VPN provides some degree of protection that might deter a casual hacker from even trying. Most importantly, when using a VPN, you know your data is private and protected, even if it seems like your computer is not safe.
- Since much of what is discussed on these forums is illegal, it might seem strange that some users would want to engage in these activities online. The fact is that many individuals – for a variety of reasons, from ideological beliefs to boredom – prefer to do most of their online activities through a remote connection. By using a VPN, they can enjoy all the benefits of a remote connection while ensuring the content they view online is kept private.
- Some individuals use these forums to share their knowledge about crimes. Since much of this knowledge is considered ‘confidential’, connecting to these forums while at work might be a violation of employer obligations to keep your job. However, using a VPN allows you to participate in these forums without risking your job. For highly sensitive employees who need to remain anonymous when discussing illegal activities, connecting to these forums while at work is usually not an option. Using a VPN allows them to engage in these activities without fear of being identified by their employer.
- Even when you are not participating in an illegal activity, your computer might be lying to you. Your device could be the target of a cyberattack at any moment, and data you thought was private could be available for the taking. Since much of what is discussed on these forums is illegal, there is always the chance it could be traced back to you. However, using a VPN to access these forums prevents this. Even when you are not participating in an illegal activity, your data is private and protected, and this protection can be extended to cover any activities you might participate in.
How to Get Bot Lobbies
To get started, simply visit your favorite search engine and enter ‘get bot lobbies’ into the search bar. You will then be presented with a list of sites where you can find information on how to get bot lobbies. If you already know what platform you want to use, simply click the appropriate link or enter the URL into your browser.
However, if you are looking for platforms that are a little less mainstream, you may have to do some hunting on your own. Since most search engines only present users with the most popular platforms, they may not always be the easiest to find. To ensure you find them, you will have to sift through a ton of junk that is usually unrelated to what you are looking for. Once you have found the platform you are looking for, take a few moments to read some of the material online before you start trying to join a lobby. This way you will know whether or not what you are reading is legitimate and won’t waste your time. Remember: you can always ask for help if you are unsure whether or not a platform is trustworthy.
Some platforms will require you to create an account before you can participate in any way. While this might seem like a nuisance at first, creating an account will actually allow you to participate in creating and joining lobbies far more easily. Once you have created an account, it is usually a simple matter of following the instructions – usually found on the site – to get connected to the forum you want to participate in. Remember: be careful about which forums you join. There are a few that are definitely not for ‘regular’ use and could potentially expose you to the wrong kind of people.
What Topics Are Usually Discussed On Bot Fora?
Since much of the content on these forums is either illegal or at the very least frowned upon by society at large, you can expect many of the topics to be quite controversial. However, this is only one of the many reasons these forums are so popular. Here are some of the other more common reasons: