Menu

Are you getting sick of CAPTCHA?

  • 29th Jul 2013

CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”. This is a security measure designed to stop computers attempting to access a website, usually in an attempt to stop spam or automation of account/email creation.

Over the past few years CAPTCHA seems to have taken over the world and is now a staple of every major website we seem to visit. At first this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as they were relatively simplistic; however as they grew in popularity so did the need for spammers to crack them. After their initial success what ensued was a cat and mouse game of making them harder and harder for machines to guess. Unfortunately this had the unintended side effect of users left scratching their heads at the mess they are being asked to decode.

Good luck decoding these

The most popular of these services is Googles ReCAPTCHA, which they bought in 2009. Each CAPTCHA it provides features two words, one of them is computer generated and acts as the security mechanism, the other is a small piece of a scanned book that users are digitizing.

Google advertises this service as accessible to blind users, however since a major flaw was found with audio CAPTCHAs in 2012 they have been made almost impossible to use. With the general consensus being that soon enough the only way to tell a computer from a user via CAPTCHA will be that the computers are the ones getting it right.

In an attempt to make your users lives better we have researched many of the alternatives and have found a tool that is just as effective but without the headaches. Stop Forum Spam is an online service that collates email and IP addresses used by forum, blog and contact form spammers. Their database now contains over 50 million records and allows you to use their API for free. With nothing more than an email or IP address we can validate every request that comes through your site without a user having to squint at a single image!

A small example of the spammers being caught, many of which are serial offenders

We use a number of different metrics to decide which accounts should be stopped accessing a website to ensure the best possible match is found. If a request is deemed to be from a spammer we then report it back to Stop Forum Spam to better help others in the future. If you would like to have this as part of your website contact us to discuss your requirements.