Today, web applications have become the most preferred computing models for service provision over internet given the ubiquity of web browsers and the rapid growth of dynamic web pages. However, these systems are sometimes vulnerable to malicious attacks issued by automated programs. This has prompted programmers to come up with various ways and mechanism to ensure the safety of various web applications. CAPTCHA is one of the most widely used mechanisms that have been adopted by service providers to protect their systems from malicious attacks propagated by automated computer programs.
What is CAPTCHA?
By definition, a CAPTCHA is a response challenge test issued to ensure that the response given by the users are generated by human beings and not robots. The process involves a computer program requesting user to complete a quick and simple test that the computer is able to grade. The programs are designed in a manner that it is easier for computer programs to generate but difficult (for the same computer) to solve, but again considerably easier for human beings to solve. If a correct solution is given, it is presumed that solution has been given by human. The most common types of CAPTCHA require the user to input digits and/or letters from distorted images displayed on a computer screen. The test prevent malicious internet bots from accessing websites considering that normal human beings can easily solve or read a CAPTCHA code while internet bots can hardly process the image letters or digits.
Which CAPTCHA a Software That’s Right for You?
There are a number of factors that you need to consider when it comes to choosing the right CAPTCHA for your website. Your major concern should be whether you can afford the CAPTCHA software that you decide to integrate into your website. While there are CAPTCHA software that come free of charge, others may require fee for installation and subsequent operation.
Additionally, it is vital to evaluate the type of audience that may be a threat to your website based on the purpose of the website and the information that you plan to provide. This will assist you in determining the level of security that your website require to keep these people away. Knowing this will also assist you in determining how expensive your CAPTCHA software is going to be considering that more customized actions are going to cost you more.
What If Your Website Targets Specialized Group?
While CAPTCHA are often designed to make the lives of website users easier, there are some people whom the use of CAPTCHA may make life a bit complex for them. These include the blind and people with sight problems, the elderly, the dyslexic, and people with developmental or intellectual disabilities. If your website targets one of these groups, you may reconsider the use of CAPTCHA.
In recent years, changes have been made to avail audio CAPTCHAs. While these changes provide some groups with a great opportunity to use CAPTCHA, it does not open doors to the blind, the deaf, and people who utilize text based browsers. To increase the readability of your website CAPTCHA (for instance, if you want to cater for a given group of users), you can consider making them editable. Editable aspects may include the background of the font, size of the font, angle of the font, and thickness of the lines among other aspects.
The best CAPTCHA solving software for your website depends on the demographic characteristics of your target audience. If you are looking for better CAPTCHA options that are currently on the market, and your target audiences are not elderly or visually impaired, reCAPTCHA is recommended as it utilizes a combination of recognizable and unrecognizable aspects that are complex for bots to read.