If you frequent the web world, you must be well-versed with the word CAPTCHA. In fact, they are those twisted words which enable or block entries into websites. Whether you want to post an ad, or wish to comment on a blog post, you must have encountered a CAPTCHA which stands as a gatekeeper controlling your entry and judging whether you are a human or a spamming machine.
Computer scientists have found out that the best way to keep away spammers is to use language images. A randomly generated text is taken and the image is manipulated, so that a human can just read the same while a computer trying to capture a picture cannot.
You might be wondering why CAPTCHAs only make use of images of letters and not of anything else, such as pictures like a cat or a beach. The answer is simple- images like this are harder to interpret as there is no exact answer; it depends on the user or the visitor. If you are asked to interpret an image of a beach, it might evoke a wide variety of responses- ocean, sunny day, sand, sea, and so on. In contrast to this, a CAPTCHA that makes use of letters can only be paired to a specific answer.
The Major Advantages of Using CAPTCHA
By distinguishing between humans and automated computer programs, CAPTCHA offers safety and security in a number of ways. Let us now discuss the most important benefits that CAPTCHA brings:
1) Protecting Registration Forms in Websites
A number of websites such as Gmail, Hotmail, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and so on offer free registration to the users. Therefore, to protect the registration process, these websites have incorporated CAPTCHAs. In fact, for any site that is offering free registration, it is best to set up a CAPTCHA, so that all the registrations are done by humans and not programs or bots.
2) Preventing Spam Comments
Spammers are capable of bombarding a single post with hundreds of comments. In case such a thing happens, search engines such as Bing, Yahoo or Google would be assuming that websites that have lots of comments for a single post are inviting spams. To avoid this, it is essential for the website owners to make use of CAPTCHA, so that only human beings are capable of posting comments.
3) Making Online Shopping More Secure
Owners of online stores generally fit CAPTCHAs within their site so that buyers can fill them before beginning any kind of transaction procedure. In an online store, the purpose of CAPTCHA is to ensure that those who are ordering products or services are humans only. Moreover, by using it, owners of online stores can bring down the risks of receiving fake or spam orders.
4) Protecting Email Accounts
A number of people have experienced some issue or the other with their email accounts in which the account has been taken over by malicious people or hackers. In case you have been a victim of something like this, you must know the detrimental effects that this issue brings. You will find that you cannot log in to your account anymore.
This is not all; the worst part of this problem is that there is high probability of your email account being misused. To evade the risks associated with such problems, email service providers such as Gmail and Yahoo, need users to fill a CAPTCHA whenever they require to send emails at a fast pace.
Want to Avoid CAPTCHAs? Try these Alternatives
There are many who do not like the concept of distorted images in their websites. If you are one among these people, there is absolutely no need to worry and you can opt for the following alternatives:
1) The Math Puzzle: In place of trying hard to understand a garbled-looking word, you may be asked to find the solution to a simple mathematical problem such as “How much is 5 + 3?” Blind people as well as people who can see would be able to solve this problem. The main trick here is to incorporate problems that can be solved by all human beings irrespective of their education levels, while automated software bots would find it difficult to solve them.
2) Interactive Games: There is an interactive service by the name of ‘Are You A Human’ which calls for the user to undertake completion of an interactive game, prior to submitting a form. In the game, you just need to click and drag objects, which is definitely a more funny activity compared to asking people to identify and replicate CAPTCHA images.
3) The Timing Trap: In case you are a human being, you might be taking a few minutes to fill in the different fields present in a web form while a software bot can do the same within a jiffy. Codes can be incorporated within a website to measure the time taken for filling a form and accordingly it will be judged whether a human or an automated program has done it. However, if you are using a web browser like Firefox or Safari which remembers your standard information and fills it every time for you, this trick is not effective, as it might wrongly conclude that you are a software bot.
We have seen that there are numerous benefits of incorporating a CAPTCHA within your website. It offers you protection in different ways, saves your time, money as well as identity. Still, if you do not like CAPTCHAs, you have your alternatives and can easily go for them. Next time you come across a CAPTCHA while trying to enter into a website, remember that it is not an unnecessary annoyance but an endeavor by the website owner to secure the integrity of the online presence and to render the best possible service.
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