You must have heard of the word – Captcha. It is a test to distinguish between humans and spambots. These days, hackers and spammers are having a field time. The technology is coming up with new ideas so fast that safeguards are necessary. Captcha is a free security service that protects the users from spambots and abuse.
Captcha checkbox comes up on sign-up pages on several websites. It asks you to pick up pictures, or decipher garbled word or numbers or it may be just a click on a checkbox. They are very annoying to look at. Now thankfully, Google is making them invisible.
Google purchased reCaptcha in 2009 to aid its book-digitization and Google Street View efforts. It made it more tougher and presented reCaptcha again in 2014 to verify that the user is not a robot.
The old reCaptcha system would display a checkbox – “I’m not a robot” – to take you through sign-up page. The new version works invisibly in the background to identify spam bots from humans. Google has not provided any details of its modus operandi.
It seems to analyze the user’s browsing history and habits. It works even more quickly for users who are signed into their Google accounts, as they have already provided information about themselves. If it detects a sign that the user is not that person, then the program will confront with one of the old reCaptcha challenges. So, that ugly garbled text will appear. The challenges would just pop up if Google’s system suspects something.
Whenever Google’s OCR software comes across a picture of garbled text that cannot be read, then that image is flagged and is sent to reCaptcha so that it can be solved by humans. You must have come across a number or name in a reCaptcha that looks like it came off a street sign or house. That is because it was flagged.
When sites switch over to the invisible Captcha system, most users will not be able to see Captchas at all, not even the checkbox. If you are flagged as “suspicious” by the system, then it will display the normal challenges.
Also read: What Is Captcha?
It is purposefully designed to be easy on legitimate users and hard on spambots. It makes positive use of the human effort. The time spent in solving CAPTCHAs helps preserve books, improve maps, and solve hard Artificial Intelligence problems. Now you do not have to check the annoying box anymore.