Modern times have seen CAPTCHA rise, an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. These are often used on blogs or other website forms where humans need to fill in the fields, but bots are filling them out automatically.
This can be helpful with stopping spam blog comments, preventing form spam across your site, and even preventing unwanted guest posting on your website by automated scripts that don’t leave human-readable content behind.
Reasons For Using CAPTCHA
There are many reasons why a business or website may want to use a digitally created version of the classic Turing test for machines. Traditionally, it measures a machine’s ability to behave like a human.
For your website or online presence, this can be useful for the following reasons:
– Prevent bots from signing up to your site by using one of their known tactics – filling out forms with spammy links.
– Stopping automated scripts that spammers are using to produce content on your website without you even knowing about it.
The most common way of stopping automated scripts involves placing different random images on each page, with each image having a specific variation of text above them so that humans can read them easily, but bots have no chance of understanding what they are meant for.
A random word is usually added every time the script starts to run so that there is a unique variation every time. You can use several different styles, but the most common is the distorted text CAPTCHA style.
Examples Of Captcha Solutions
– Image Distortion
The image is transformed into something that another computer cannot understand or read, leaving only human-readable content available for your website visitors to interact with. You can distort an image so much that it’s not even recognizable as what it was meant to be initially.
This could be used on its own or alongside text distortion techniques depending on how confident you feel about your site visitors entering the information correctly by themselves rather than a bot automatically doing it for them.
– Fake Checkmarks
A checkmark or other symbol appears next to each field that you want a user to fill in. This is a realistic option for those who are not too concerned about bots automatically filling the form out but want to make it as difficult as possible for them to interact with your website.
– Fake Buttons
When a button needs to be clicked on, a fake one can be created so that bots cannot tell the difference between them and actual buttons found anywhere else on the website.
Does Your Site Need A Captcha In The First Place?
Before you implement any CAPTCHA solution on your website, you need first to decide if there is even any reason for it. If adding forms around your blog posts or other content doesn’t matter whether a human or a bot fills them out, you don’t need to worry about adding one.
If your site is for business or commercial use, you will have more reason to add one because bots are programmed to fill out forms to exploit the data given automatically.
This could be done by spammers looking for e-mail lists to send out marketing material or even hackers trying to gather enough information that can be used later on when it comes time to attack your website.
For these reasons, it’s best to play it safe rather than sorry if your site is important enough that it has something worth protecting behind the scenes.
Some small businesses may want to keep their contact information protected from spam by adding a CAPTCHA to their website, but there may be other alternatives that can offer the same or similar result without having one.
CAPTCHA Alternatives: How To Prevent Spam Without Captcha?
There are certain types of form spambots and automated scripts that site owners should be aware of and know what they do to stop them from causing issues for your online presence.
Image Spammers: These work by picking random images off the internet that contain links and then uploading them to other websites where they add links back to their website.
Other than just being annoying, these links redirect users to websites containing dangerous malware such as keyloggers which can steal passwords and usernames while still recording what you type at the same time.
Keyword Stuffers: These programs usually come in a pack with other spambots, much like image spammers. They work by automatically adding keywords to a form that are often entirely unrelated to the purpose of that field.
They will happily fill out as many fields as they can using one script alone instead of having to run multiple times over until all required information has been given or enough spam comments have been posted. You should be able to spot these because the keywords don’t make any sense within the context of your website easily.
Spam Comments: This is another common way for bots to get around CAPTCHA solutions, but not all of them do it this way. Spammers create or use existing accounts on other websites and post their links as a new blog comment.
This way, they can target as many sites as possible by using different accounts on each one to try and fool the CAPTCHA into thinking that it’s a real person typing out the words instead of a program looking for easy spam comments.
Honeypot Bots: These are explicitly programmed to look for fake checkmarks or fake buttons which might be used in a CAPTCHA alternative solution.
They do this by automatically filling out all fields with information such as e-mail addresses or phone numbers, making your website seem like it’s not worth going to or trying to exploit any further if someone notices these details being submitted after every form field is filled out.
Once you enter fake information, they will usually stop trying to exploit your website.
Spam Bots: These are the most common form of spambots and, therefore, can be one of the easiest ones to spot because they often don’t even try to hide what they do. They work by scanning all text on a page, whether comments or content until they find anything that might contain an e-mail address.
Once found, these bots will automatically input their fake e-mail address so that everything is connected through a single account of sorts which can be used for marketing purposes or create more fake accounts from scratch using this same method.
They have been programmed to fill out forms with as many products or services as possible using whatever keywords stand out on each webpage.
These bots are programmed to do something similar by automatically filling out forms to guess the required information before submitting it. Doing this can make themselves appear more human-like when spotting needed fields within forms that aren’t always obvious or easy to spot without reading through each line of text on each form field.
Sometimes CAPTCHAs just won’t cut it. So, should other anti-spam solutions be considered?
There are other ways to prevent spam from happening on your website without using a CAPTCHA solution.
It might require some trial and error, but it is possible for you to block automated scripts while still allowing real people to access your site’s contact information or leave comments without having to worry about any spam or malware being forwarded through your website itself.
Anti spam honeypot works by hiding an actual CAPTCHA’s text within an image revealed once a form is filled out correctly. The bots will usually ignore any images as they don’t think that they are necessary to fill out, but it will give you an indication as to what you might need to hide from those programs instead of using traditional text CAPTCHAs.
By using this method, it’s easier for humans because they won’t have to type anything in where the bots wouldn’t bother looking anyway. Still, the chances are that most spammers aren’t likely even to enter their information correctly if your honeypot is designed well enough.
– Active Bad Behaviour Filter
This option requires you to create a form for your website that is very easy to fill out and needs you to use the Honeypot method explained above.
It works by simply leaving out all of the required information in any given field except for an e-mail address that might be required depending on your personal preferences for allowing visitors to contact you or leave comments about your site.
By hiding this information or removing it entirely, bots won’t know what they should try and find when scanning through content on each page, so they will often not even look at it twice before continuing onto another website’s content instead.
Simple yet effective! These forms only require specific details to function correctly, so there is no reason for spammers to even bother with your site if you already block most automated scripts in the first place.
Captcha solutions are one way to protect your website against spam and bots, but they may not suit you depending on the nature of your site content, current online marketing strategy, and cost constraints.
Other alternatives such as honeypot captcha and no captcha can also help prevent form spam but may require more technical know-how or intricate setup processes.
Make sure you implement a solution that will meet your needs and is hassle-free so that it doesn’t impede users from completing their tasks while still providing high security against spammers.