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Grrrrr, is that now an i or an l?

Anyone who has ever wanted to register on a website or comment on a blog will have experienced it: an image with weird letters in different sizes and positions. Nothing is more difficult than distinguishing a lowercase ‘l’ from an uppercase ‘i’ or an uppercase ‘o’ with the smaller variant. There are plenty of crazy examples, but mostly frustrations.

Those weird codes are called CAPTCHA codes. CAPTCHA stands for, “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. In short, a test to distinguish humans from computers.

Why do websites use CAPTCHA?

The reason why websites use CAPTCHA codes in their registration process is because of spam. Those odd little letters are a way of checking that the person who wants to register is actually a person and not a computer program trying to get on the website in order to spam the site full.

Yes, it’s frustrating to keep filling in those pesky codes on those images, but it’s worth it in the long run. Anyone who has ever set up a blog or a website will know what spam looks like up close, even if your website or blog barely generates any traffic. Smaller websites or blogs, on the other hand, are more easily found because they are usually not as well secured.

CAPTCHA protects websites.

If a website or blog owner did not use security such as CAPTCHA, they would receive dozens of spam registrations and messages daily. And we’re only talking about smaller websites or blogs here, you have to imagine what the larger variants would get in terms of spam.

So the next time you stumble upon one of those cute images with weird lettering and get frustrated because you can’t tell the Q from the O, don’t blame the website this time, blame all the spammers. Spammers are the reason these codes exist!