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Tricks & Tips

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Contributed by:  Brian Clark

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What are these random letters I have to type before I can submit a form on a web site?
Maybe you’re signing up for an account, or attempting to contact a company via their web site, and you’re frustrated that you can’t just click ‘Submit’ and be done with it!

Google, Yahoo! and others have been using this kind of barrier for a while now, and while, at times, it may be frustrating, there is a method to their madness.  Its called CAPTCHA, or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.  As the name implies, this tests to ensure a real person is filling a form, and not something automated.

Why go through all this trouble?
Without a CAPTCHA, automated programs written by unscrupulous people can automatically fill out a form thousands of times. Google uses it to stop spammers, among others, from signing up for a lot of Gmail accounts to send out ‘anonymous’ spam to other people around the world. Yahoo! employs CAPTCHAs for a similar purpose.

Other individual sites use CAPTCHAs to combat spam that is sent to the site owners through their own contact forms. Using this method, it ensures that their visitors’ emails are not lost in a flood of trash.

CAPTCHA techniques aren’t fail-proof, but they are evolving as fast as attackers find ways to have their automated programs, believe it or not, interpret CAPTCHA images without the aid of a human.
Tips to speed through CAPTCHA

  1. Often there is a refresh button – if you can’t read the letters, click refresh
  2. Be confident and submit anyway – if you’re wrong, it will reprompt you

Comic Relief…

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More funnies… (couldn’t resist)

  1. Comic
  2. Comic
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