What Is A Captcha

W

What Does CAPTCHA Mean? | CAPTCHA Types & Examples

What Does CAPTCHA Mean? | CAPTCHA Types & Examples

What is CAPTCHA
CAPTCHA stands for the Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. CAPTCHAs are tools you can use to differentiate between real users and automated users, such as bots. CAPTCHAs provide challenges that are difficult for computers to perform but relatively easy for humans. For example, identifying stretched letters or numbers, or clicking in a specific area.
What are CAPTCHAs Used for
CAPTCHAs are used by any website that wishes to restrict usage by bots. Specific uses include:
Maintaining poll accuracy—CAPTCHAs can prevent poll skewing by ensuring that each vote is entered by a human. Although this does not limit the overall number of votes that can be made, it makes the time required for each vote longer, discouraging multiple votes.
Limiting registration for services—services can use CAPTCHAs to prevent bots from spamming registration systems to create fake accounts. Restricting account creation prevents waste of a service’s resources and reduces opportunities for fraud.
Preventing ticket inflation—ticketing systems can use CAPTCHA to limit scalpers from purchasing large numbers of tickets for resale. It can also be used to prevent false registrations to free events.
Preventing false comments—CAPTCHAs can prevent bots from spamming message boards, contact forms, or review sites. The extra step required by a CAPTCHA can also play a role in reducing online harassment through inconvenience.
How Does CAPTCHA Work
CAPTCHAs work by providing information to a user for interpretation. Traditional CAPTCHAs provided distorted or overlapping letters and numbers that a user then has to submit via a form field. The distortion of the letters made it difficult for bots to interpret the text and prevented access until the characters were verified.
This CAPTCHA type relies on a human’s ability to generalize and recognize novel patterns based on variable past experience. In contrast, bots can often only follow set patterns or input randomized characters. This limitation makes it unlikely that bots will correctly guess the right combination.
Since CAPTCHA was introduced, bots that use machine learning have been developed. These bots are better able to identify traditional CAPTCHAs with algorithms trained in pattern recognition. Due to this development, newer CAPTCHA methods are based on more complex tests. For example, reCAPTCHA requires clicking in a specific area and waiting until a timer runs out.
Drawbacks of Using CAPTCHA
The overwhelming benefit of CAPTCHA is that it is highly effective against all but the most sophisticated bad bots. However, CAPTCHA mechanisms can negatively affect the user experience on your website:
Disruptive and frustrating for users
May be difficult to understand or use for some audiences
Some CAPTCHA types do not support all browsers
Some CAPTCHA types are not accessible to users who view a website using screen readers or assistive devices
CAPTCHA Types: Examples
Modern CAPTCHAs fall into three main categories—text-based, image-based, and audio.
Text-based CAPTCHAs
Text-based CAPTCHAs are the original way in which humans were verified. These CAPTCHAs can use known words or phrases, or random combinations of digits and letters. Some text-based CAPTCHAs also include variations in capitalization.
The CAPTCHA presents these characters in a way that is alienated and requires interpretation. Alienation can involve scaling, rotation, distorting characters. It can also involve overlapping characters with graphic elements such as color, background noise, lines, arcs, or dots. This alienation provides protection against bots with insufficient text recognition algorithms but can also be difficult for humans to interpret.
Text-based CAPTCHA patterns
Techniques for creating text-based CAPTCHAs include:
Gimpy—chooses an arbitrary number of words from an 850-word dictionary and provides those words in a distorted fashion.
EZ-Gimpy—is a variation of Gimpy that uses only one word.
Gimpy-r—selects random letters, then distorts and adds background noise to characters.
Simard’s HIP—selects random letters and numbers, then distorts characters with arcs and colors.
CAPTCHA Image
Image-based CAPTCHAs were developed to replace text-based ones. These CAPTCHAs use recognizable graphical elements, such as photos of animals, shapes, or scenes. Typically, image-based CAPTCHAs require users to select images matching a theme or to identify images that don’t fit.
You can see an example of this type of CAPTCHA below. Note that it defines the theme using an image instead of text.
Example of image-based CAPTCHA
Image-based CAPTCHAs are typically easier for humans to interpret than text-based. However, these tools present distinct accessibility issues for visually impaired users. For bots, image-based CAPTCHAs are more difficult than text to interpret because these tools require both image recognition and semantic classification.
Audio CAPTCHA
Audio CAPTCHAs were developed as an alternative that grants accessibility to visually impaired users. These CAPTCHAs are often used in combination with text or image-based CAPTCHAs. Audio CAPTCHAs present an audio recording of a series of letters or numbers which a user then enters.
These CAPTCHAs rely on bots not being able to distinguish relevant characters from background noise. Like text-based CAPTCHAs, these tools can be difficult for humans to interpret as well as for bots.
Math or Word Problems
Some CAPTCHA mechanisms ask users to solve a simple mathematical problem such as “3+4” or “18-3”. The assumption is that a bot will find it difficult to identify the question and devise a response. Another variant is a word problem, asking the user to type the missing word in a sentence, or complete a sequence of several related terms. These types of problems are accessible to vision impaired users, but at the same time they may be easier for bad bots to solve.
Social Media Sign In
A popular alternative to CAPTCHA is requiring users to sign in using a social profile such as Facebook, Google or LinkedIn. The user’s details will be automatically filled in using single sign on (SSO) functionality provided by the social media website.
This is still disruptive, but may actually be easier for the user to complete than other forms of CAPTCHA. An additional benefit is that it is a convenient registration mechanism.
No CAPTCHA ReCAPTCHA
This type of CAPTCHA, known for its use by Google, is much easier for users than most other types. It provides a checkbox saying “I am not a robot” which users need to select – and that’s all. It works by tracking user movements and identifying if the click and other user activity on the page resembles human activity or a bot. If the test fails, reCAPTCHA provides a traditional image selection CAPTCHA, but in most cases the checkbox test suffices to validate the user.
Imperva Bot Detection: CAPTCHA as a Last Line of Defense
Imperva provides a bot detection solution that is built for minimal business disruption. It offers several types of challenges which filter out bad bot traffic with minimal impact on human users—including device fingerprinting, cookie challenges and JavaScript challenges.
Imperva provides the option to deploy CAPTCHAs, but uses it as the final line of defense, if all other bot identification mechanisms fail. This means it will be used for a very small percentage of user traffic. Imperva does provide the option to manually enforce CAPTCHA, for websites that need a stricter approach to advanced bot protection.
In addition to providing bad bot mitigation, Imperva provides multi-layered protection to make sure websites and applications are available, easily accessible and safe. The Imperva application security solution includes:
DDoS Protection—maintain uptime in all situations. Prevent any type of DDoS attack, of any size, from preventing access to your website and network infrastructure.
CDN—enhance website performance and reduce bandwidth costs with a CDN designed for developers. Cache static resources at the edge while accelerating APIs and dynamic websites.
Cloud WAF—permit legitimate traffic and prevent bad traffic. Safeguard your applications at the edge with an enterprise‑class cloud WAF.
Gateway WAF—keep applications and APIs inside your network safe with Imperva Gateway WAF.
RASP—keep your applications safe from within against known and zero‑day attacks. Fast and accurate protection with no signature or learning mode.
What Does CAPTCHA Mean? | CAPTCHA Types & Examples

What Does CAPTCHA Mean? | CAPTCHA Types & Examples

What is CAPTCHA
CAPTCHA stands for the Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. CAPTCHAs are tools you can use to differentiate between real users and automated users, such as bots. CAPTCHAs provide challenges that are difficult for computers to perform but relatively easy for humans. For example, identifying stretched letters or numbers, or clicking in a specific area.
What are CAPTCHAs Used for
CAPTCHAs are used by any website that wishes to restrict usage by bots. Specific uses include:
Maintaining poll accuracy—CAPTCHAs can prevent poll skewing by ensuring that each vote is entered by a human. Although this does not limit the overall number of votes that can be made, it makes the time required for each vote longer, discouraging multiple votes.
Limiting registration for services—services can use CAPTCHAs to prevent bots from spamming registration systems to create fake accounts. Restricting account creation prevents waste of a service’s resources and reduces opportunities for fraud.
Preventing ticket inflation—ticketing systems can use CAPTCHA to limit scalpers from purchasing large numbers of tickets for resale. It can also be used to prevent false registrations to free events.
Preventing false comments—CAPTCHAs can prevent bots from spamming message boards, contact forms, or review sites. The extra step required by a CAPTCHA can also play a role in reducing online harassment through inconvenience.
How Does CAPTCHA Work
CAPTCHAs work by providing information to a user for interpretation. Traditional CAPTCHAs provided distorted or overlapping letters and numbers that a user then has to submit via a form field. The distortion of the letters made it difficult for bots to interpret the text and prevented access until the characters were verified.
This CAPTCHA type relies on a human’s ability to generalize and recognize novel patterns based on variable past experience. In contrast, bots can often only follow set patterns or input randomized characters. This limitation makes it unlikely that bots will correctly guess the right combination.
Since CAPTCHA was introduced, bots that use machine learning have been developed. These bots are better able to identify traditional CAPTCHAs with algorithms trained in pattern recognition. Due to this development, newer CAPTCHA methods are based on more complex tests. For example, reCAPTCHA requires clicking in a specific area and waiting until a timer runs out.
Drawbacks of Using CAPTCHA
The overwhelming benefit of CAPTCHA is that it is highly effective against all but the most sophisticated bad bots. However, CAPTCHA mechanisms can negatively affect the user experience on your website:
Disruptive and frustrating for users
May be difficult to understand or use for some audiences
Some CAPTCHA types do not support all browsers
Some CAPTCHA types are not accessible to users who view a website using screen readers or assistive devices
CAPTCHA Types: Examples
Modern CAPTCHAs fall into three main categories—text-based, image-based, and audio.
Text-based CAPTCHAs
Text-based CAPTCHAs are the original way in which humans were verified. These CAPTCHAs can use known words or phrases, or random combinations of digits and letters. Some text-based CAPTCHAs also include variations in capitalization.
The CAPTCHA presents these characters in a way that is alienated and requires interpretation. Alienation can involve scaling, rotation, distorting characters. It can also involve overlapping characters with graphic elements such as color, background noise, lines, arcs, or dots. This alienation provides protection against bots with insufficient text recognition algorithms but can also be difficult for humans to interpret.
Text-based CAPTCHA patterns
Techniques for creating text-based CAPTCHAs include:
Gimpy—chooses an arbitrary number of words from an 850-word dictionary and provides those words in a distorted fashion.
EZ-Gimpy—is a variation of Gimpy that uses only one word.
Gimpy-r—selects random letters, then distorts and adds background noise to characters.
Simard’s HIP—selects random letters and numbers, then distorts characters with arcs and colors.
CAPTCHA Image
Image-based CAPTCHAs were developed to replace text-based ones. These CAPTCHAs use recognizable graphical elements, such as photos of animals, shapes, or scenes. Typically, image-based CAPTCHAs require users to select images matching a theme or to identify images that don’t fit.
You can see an example of this type of CAPTCHA below. Note that it defines the theme using an image instead of text.
Example of image-based CAPTCHA
Image-based CAPTCHAs are typically easier for humans to interpret than text-based. However, these tools present distinct accessibility issues for visually impaired users. For bots, image-based CAPTCHAs are more difficult than text to interpret because these tools require both image recognition and semantic classification.
Audio CAPTCHA
Audio CAPTCHAs were developed as an alternative that grants accessibility to visually impaired users. These CAPTCHAs are often used in combination with text or image-based CAPTCHAs. Audio CAPTCHAs present an audio recording of a series of letters or numbers which a user then enters.
These CAPTCHAs rely on bots not being able to distinguish relevant characters from background noise. Like text-based CAPTCHAs, these tools can be difficult for humans to interpret as well as for bots.
Math or Word Problems
Some CAPTCHA mechanisms ask users to solve a simple mathematical problem such as “3+4” or “18-3”. The assumption is that a bot will find it difficult to identify the question and devise a response. Another variant is a word problem, asking the user to type the missing word in a sentence, or complete a sequence of several related terms. These types of problems are accessible to vision impaired users, but at the same time they may be easier for bad bots to solve.
Social Media Sign In
A popular alternative to CAPTCHA is requiring users to sign in using a social profile such as Facebook, Google or LinkedIn. The user’s details will be automatically filled in using single sign on (SSO) functionality provided by the social media website.
This is still disruptive, but may actually be easier for the user to complete than other forms of CAPTCHA. An additional benefit is that it is a convenient registration mechanism.
No CAPTCHA ReCAPTCHA
This type of CAPTCHA, known for its use by Google, is much easier for users than most other types. It provides a checkbox saying “I am not a robot” which users need to select – and that’s all. It works by tracking user movements and identifying if the click and other user activity on the page resembles human activity or a bot. If the test fails, reCAPTCHA provides a traditional image selection CAPTCHA, but in most cases the checkbox test suffices to validate the user.
Imperva Bot Detection: CAPTCHA as a Last Line of Defense
Imperva provides a bot detection solution that is built for minimal business disruption. It offers several types of challenges which filter out bad bot traffic with minimal impact on human users—including device fingerprinting, cookie challenges and JavaScript challenges.
Imperva provides the option to deploy CAPTCHAs, but uses it as the final line of defense, if all other bot identification mechanisms fail. This means it will be used for a very small percentage of user traffic. Imperva does provide the option to manually enforce CAPTCHA, for websites that need a stricter approach to advanced bot protection.
In addition to providing bad bot mitigation, Imperva provides multi-layered protection to make sure websites and applications are available, easily accessible and safe. The Imperva application security solution includes:
DDoS Protection—maintain uptime in all situations. Prevent any type of DDoS attack, of any size, from preventing access to your website and network infrastructure.
CDN—enhance website performance and reduce bandwidth costs with a CDN designed for developers. Cache static resources at the edge while accelerating APIs and dynamic websites.
Cloud WAF—permit legitimate traffic and prevent bad traffic. Safeguard your applications at the edge with an enterprise‑class cloud WAF.
Gateway WAF—keep applications and APIs inside your network safe with Imperva Gateway WAF.
RASP—keep your applications safe from within against known and zero‑day attacks. Fast and accurate protection with no signature or learning mode.
What to Do When CAPTCHAs Won't Work - LiveAbout

What to Do When CAPTCHAs Won’t Work – LiveAbout

How to Deal With Invalid CAPTCHA Codes
CAPTCHAs are distorted letters and numbers that aim to block bots and scripts from submitting forms online. This is a benefit for real people who want to enter sweepstakes, because it helps prevent cheaters from entering.
However, bots become more adept at deciphering CAPTCHAs over time, which means programmers have to make CAPTCHAs increasingly difficult to read. And that can make entering a form frustrating for real humans as well.
Luckily, there are some strategies that can help. Try these tips if you can’t get a CAPTCHA code to work.
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Load, Load Again
Frustrated by CAPTCHAs? Here Are Some Strategies to Try.
Hero Images/Getty Images
If your CAPTCHA isn’t being accepted, the problem might not be with your reading or your typing, the code may simply have expired. If you didn’t submit your entry form right away, your CAPTCHA might be invalid.
For example, a strategy to enter sweepstakes faster is to open several entry forms at the same time, fill them out, and submit them one after another. But when you do this, it can take a while to actually fill out the entry form.
Many CAPTCHAs have an anti-hacking feature that causes them to expire after a few minutes. This prevents hackers from, say, sending the CAPTCHA image to a CAPTCHA mill service, where low-wage workers crack the code and send it back to a hacker.
To see if this is the problem, try reloading the page to get a new code, then fill out and submit the form right away.
Llamas, Iguanas, and the Number 1
Depending on the font a CAPTCHA uses, a lower-case “l” as in “llama” can look exactly the same as an uppercase “I” as in “Iguana”, or even the number “1. ” Confusion between these three characters could be the reason why you can’t get the CAPTCHA to work properly.
If your CAPTCHA won’t submit, check for these symbols. If it contains one of them, try the other possibilities.
O, Those Zeros
It can be very difficult to tell the difference between an uppercase letter “O” as in “Ocean” and the numeral “0” or zero. This is especially true when the CAPTCHA has distorted the characters.
If you’ve been trying the letter O or the number zero and the CAPTCHA won’t go through, try the other option.
Forget 2, 4 the Problem’s 6 and 8
The numbers “6” and “8” are clearly different, right? Well, they are until CAPTCHAs put squiggly lines behind them to confuse automatic image readers. One of those squiggles could easily make it hard to tell the difference between the two numerals.
Squiggles can confuse many other characters as well. Depending on placement and font, a “c” can look like an “o, ” an “o” look like an “a, ” and other characters can be hard to distinguish.
If your CAPTCHA is being rejected, take a close look to make sure that your eyes aren’t being thrown off by background graphics.
A Case of the Wrong Case
Some CAPTCHAs don’t care if the letters you enter are upper or lowercase, but others are case-sensitive. That means that your shift key might be the reason why your CAPTCHA isn’t going through.
If the CAPTCHA shows both upper and lowercase letters, be sure to enter your characters exactly as displayed. If all of the letters have the same case, you might be able to enter it either way, but if your entry is refused, try typing it exactly as it’s shown.
When Case Sensitivity Is Too Sensitive
Of course, case-sensitive captchas open the door for even more confusing letters. For example, an uppercase “O” can look a lot like a lowercase “o” when letters are different sizes, and the same with “C” and “c. ”
If your CAPTCHA is being stubborn, try changing the case of letters that look the same in upper- and lower-case to see if it helps.
When the Eyes Don’t Have It
One of the drawbacks of CAPTCHAs is that they are difficult for people with visual impairments to use. To get around this problem, some sweepstakes offer an audio version of their captchas.
If this is an option, try listening to a hard-to-enter code. Look for a small speaker symbol near the CAPTCHA to turn on audio mode. It’s often easier to hear the code than to read it.
Use a CAPTCHA Solver
Some companies offer software to solve the problem of difficult CAPTCHAs. If you are getting too frustrated with trying to solve them yourself, try an extension. For some suggestions, check out 4 Extensions to Auto Solve and Bypass CAPTCHA.
There’s No Shame in Admitting Defeat
If you’re still having trouble with a CAPTCHA, you don’t have to let it drive you crazy. Instead, try reloading it to get a different code that might be easier to decipher.
You can usually do this by reloading the page in your browser. Some entry forms also offer the option to click on the code or press a reload button to get an easier-to-read captcha.
Don’t Get Frustrated!
When you enter sweepstakes, annoying CAPTCHAs are just one of the frustrations you might face. Remember, being a winner is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient and persistent and the prizes will come!

Frequently Asked Questions about what is a captcha

What is CAPTCHA example?

CAPTCHAs are tools you can use to differentiate between real users and automated users, such as bots. CAPTCHAs provide challenges that are difficult for computers to perform but relatively easy for humans. For example, identifying stretched letters or numbers, or clicking in a specific area.

How do I enter correct CAPTCHA?

If the CAPTCHA shows both upper and lowercase letters, be sure to enter your characters exactly as displayed. If all of the letters have the same case, you might be able to enter it either way, but if your entry is refused, try typing it exactly as it’s shown.May 30, 2021

What is a CAPTCHA code?

CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a type of security measure known as challenge-response authentication. … A CAPTCHA test is made up of two simple parts: a randomly generated sequence of letters and/or numbers that appear as a distorted image, and a text box.

About the author

proxyreview

If you 're a SEO / IM geek like us then you'll love our updates and our website. Follow us for the latest news in the world of web automation tools & proxy servers!

By proxyreview

Recent Posts

Useful Tools