CAPTCHA – those annoying little numbers and letters that are all tipsy that you have to figure out what they look like untipsy and then write them into a little box and push a button … and half the time redo it because you didn’t untipsy the stuff correctly! According to Wikipedia, “a CAPTCHA is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine whether the user is human. “CAPTCHA” is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”, trademarked by Carnegie Mellon University.” Wow – that is a mouthful!!
Monkeys and Owls, Digital Â© Diane Clancy
Completely understandably, many people start using CAPTCHA to protect their hard drives and computers from computer viruses. Understandable!! to want to protect yourself and your computer (is there a difference?) But that is not what CAPTCHA does.
CAPTCHA protects you from spammers. But, I don’t know about you, I don’t get that many spammers … in the spirit of full disclosure, WordPress has a dynamite spam catcher (Akismet) that comes installed with WordPress and you just have to activate it. And it is very effective – sometimes it catches your comments and I have to go free them from the Akismet monster …
And after a certain site linked to me while showcasing some of my graphic design work, my name did get out there for awhile. And I have traveled wide and far on the web asking technical questions and leaving my address … you have seen how I do …. so my blog has gotten out there in one sense.
But, for most of us blogging, we don’t really need to protect ourselves from those who are leaving comments just to link our blogs to their blogs (usually lists of links from what I see – I check them out before I delete them) so that we will go check them out. And I have friends who would love to have so much traffic at their blog that they needed protection … but no, most of us I know would LOVE more traffic!! So, if you are using CAPTCHA to protect your hard drive, then it is not necessary.
And anyone who has to use CAPTCHA because they are getting too much spam, I sure do understand! But you might want to try out and see if you really need the CAPTCHA … or not. I know I often have to try several times to get it correct … oh, oh … does this make me a computer rather than human? Nah … I make WAY too many mistakes … then again, I don’t think computers are as perfect as they are cracked up to be!! Well, you decide.
~ Diane Clancy