Chatbots are simulation applications that function as if you’re conversing with someone over the Internet. Many organizations use chatbots for customer support issues, and some chatbots are offered as services to help with art and creativity. As the popularity of these chatbots grows, so does the malicious intent of cyber criminals.

One popular chatbot that has been in the news for the past few weeks is ChatGPT. It was only launched at the end of November 2022 and is said to be a new generation of AI systems that can converse, generate readable text on demand, and produce images and videos based on a database of stored information.

However, there has been some backlash from many users facing issues or foreseeing them. Some of these problems encompass ChatGPT-enabled phishing attempts that lead to spam websites, increased plagiarism in the academic environment, and chatbot customer support options obtaining sensitive information.

The technology functions using a database to generate keywords and phrases towards a topic that can create a constant conversation or generate ideas to complete complex tasks.

Many organizations, such as financial and educational institutions, are restricting the use of ChatGPT because of the negative impacts that can result from overuse and abuse. In the school setting, the concern involves how this technology can undercut the education process. Students can ask ChatGPT to write them an essay, which the bot can complete in minutes. This is problematic because students are missing the opportunity to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

It’s also important to know that chatbots don’t just show up when you are looking for help; they can also reach out to you. These can be seen in phishing attempts looking for your personal information. The bots provide urgent warnings to grab your attention and deceive you into entering credentials or sensitive data readily available to the malicious hacker.

It may be hard to pinpoint the differences between an artificial intelligence conversation to a human conversation when you need its service, but there are a few things to keep an eye out for:

  • Look for the absence of compassion and a lack of experience.
  • Check for errors in the writing styles and inconsistency in wording.
  • Keep an eye out for filler words or repetitive phrases.
  • Don’t click on links unless they are directly from the secure website.
  • Do not share or enter credentials unless the messages are legitimate.

ChatGPT is not the first or last form of this type of AI that we will see. As these technologies emerge and develop, it is important to be vigilant of red flags before a simple request turns into a malicious event.