Anti-spam protection is one of the priority targets for the website owners who don’t want to get thousands of Emails and viral links which are just a pile of information garbage. Spambots are the main spreaders of spam and their primary goal is to abuse as many websites as they can reach. You can stop spam spreading at the initial stage if you will add a CAPTCHA plugin that uses a simple test that won’t cause any problem for a human, but will be pretty difficult for the malicious software.
What is CAPTCHA?
CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a test that consists of a certain amount of symbols which the user needs to type correctly to fill in the form. You can also meet different kinds of phrases, pictures or voice recordings for weak-eyed people, but no matter what type of CAPTCHA test do you fill, the most important thing is an inability to pass it by spam software. However, those deleterious programs are getting more complex and compound, so the Captcha defense system is no longer so inexpugnable and, consequently, developers try to evolve it and strengthen the “spam shield”.
How Captcha works?
The idea of Captcha consists in the absence of abstract thinking of the computer and its inability to observe the world the way we do. People visual data processing skills are much more sophisticated, so it’s easier for us to identify the symbols in the test because our brain is always trying to find familiar shape or pattern even in usual objects. In this way, you can decipher the text in a blink of an eye (but sometimes it’s pretty difficult by the way), while the computer cannot perform this operation because it is just a list of zeroes and ones for it and there is no universal algorithm to get to windward of CAPTCHA so easy.
Why Captcha is required/important?
Generally, CAPTCHA is made to secure websites from spam, but let’s take a closer look at the most significant features:
- Spam comments preventing. CAPTCHA allows you not to let spammers abuse your comments which are one of the most important parts of a blog;
- Registration forms protection. If you will install CAPTCHA you can be sure that the registration process will be performed only by humans and none automated program will get through;
- Email accounts security. CAPTCHA will help you to keep your Email account safe and prevent the misuse of it by hackers and foes;
- Online shopping safety. CAPTCHA is usually used at eCommerce sites to determine if a buyer is a human and is also helps to get rid of fake orders.
Which Captcha is best (Captcha or reCAPTCHA)?
CAPTCHA has a “twin brother” reCAPTCHA that has some interesting enhancements. Apart from spam blocking it has another interesting feature that comes with a slogan “Stop Spam, Read Books”. reCAPTCHA helps to digitize old books and newspapers and some parts of the text are often unreadable, so the developers are involving you in the digitizing process. This kind of CAPTCHA is easier for the humans and more complicated for spambots, so it is more preferable if you want to keep your website protected from spam.
Is Captcha secure?
Well, the answer to this question is not so obvious because all these automated spam programs are becoming more sophisticated, so you never know when CAPTCHA will lose its protection strength. For now, it can provide a sufficient level of security but it is still quite attackable by well-developed and advanced software. Still, you can be sure that the biggest part of non-human requests will be determined and suppressed, so at worst you will be dealing with a small pile of spam.
CAPTCHA is considered a very efficient method that gives almost 100% spam-protection guarantee. It can be pretty annoying sometimes to fill all those illegible words and numbers for the users, but it is a price you pay to keep your website free from spam. Ignoring CAPTCHA you risk to clog your blog or a website with hundreds of spam comments or letters, so don’t think that this problem doesn’t regard you and make an effort to avoid unpleasant consequences.