A chatbot is a computer program that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to conduct a conversation, usually with an existing or potential customer. You may have come across a chatbot on the website of a major utility or clothing company, where an image of a smiling person may ask you how they can help you today. And they are increasingly used across all platforms, including smartphones. The conversational skills of the best chatbots can be so realistic that it is hard to tell whether you are talking to a machine or a human being.
It’s clear that chatbot technology is here to stay. However, some people feel worried about talking to chatbots when they are asked to disclose personal or sensitive information under the guise of security questions. There are fears that chatbots could be the tool of the next wave of cybercrime.
Are These Fears Realistic?
The good news is that cybersecurity experts consider these fears to be alarmist and unfounded. In common with other forms of technology, chatbots adhere to standard and secure Internet protocols (https) that have been established for decades. You are no more at risk using a chatbot than visiting any other website that asks for confidential information, such as your bank’s online platform.
Secure Chatbot Technology
The technology surrounding chatbots is complex but most people are aware that when they visit a secure part of a website, the address changes from HTTP to HTTPS, which shows that the transmitted data is sent through secure protocols. Chatbots are also secured through a process called authentication and authorisation. The identity of a user must be verified before any requested information can be given. Secondary authentication such as sending a one-time password (OTP) to a user’s mobile phone can be used to verify any requested transaction.
While it’s true that all forms of technology are vulnerable to attack, chatbot technology certainly poses no greater a risk than any other part of the online world, and is, in fact, a very secure form of communication. To discuss how bespoke, secure chatbots can help streamline communication with your customers, please call 0208 144 2000.