Why do we need Captchas? In our fast-paced world, we tend to push buttons on our electronic devices like true hustlers. Yet we rarely stop to ask which button it is that we are clicking, or why.
A Captcha is one of those mysterious things, like the little plastic pieces at the end of your shoelaces, that makes sense and definitely makes our lives easier. So, we should probably know more about these little pieces of computer code.
Quite simply, a Captcha code prevents a site from viewing you as a robot.
And, Captchas may have stopped a few robotic invasions of the internet. Apart from showing that you are in fact a human being, Captchas protect websites from spammy bots and robots that appear to be human.
Although they might seem like a modern invention, Captchas actually developed from the “Turing Test”, which was a series of experiments in the 1950s.
Computer scientist extraordinaire Alan Turing theorised and then proved that machines were able to think, speak and act in human-like ways by running a machine. During the Second World War, Turing had been involved in breaking German codes.
The experiments tested whether a judge could distinguish between a computer and a person.
The word “Captcha” is an acronym which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart”.
Today, Captchas are able to prevent spamming on websites so that when people post content on websites, the site knows that it was done by a “100% human”.
Of course, Captchas are not totally effective, but they do make a huge difference. Captchas come in various formats, including text-based and image-based tests.
It may ask you to click on all the pictures featuring a traffic light, or a bus, for example. Or it may ask you to give the sum of two simple numbers, such as five and nine.
Spam bots are unable to solve the puzzles but it’s much easier for humans.
There are Captchas for disabled users as well.
If you have a website that needs protecting, you can add a Captcha to your page through programs like ReCaptcha or BotDetect Captcha.
The coding is fairly simple and will often come with the program.