What is Captcha
General Technology

Overview: What is CAPTCHA?

If you are searching for the best CAPTCHA alternative, you are in the right place. CAPTCHA is a test/tool that has been in use for years to differentiate between a computer and real human traffic on websites. However, spambots (computer programs) that engage in a counterproductive activity (like generating fake traffic, fake website registrations, and fake comments) have evolved aggressively. Studies show that AI (Artificial Intelligence) can now fool CAPTCHA with a 90% accuracy.

Is CAPTCHA still effective in 2021?

CAPTCHA is no longer effective in defeating spambots, making it hard for website owners to protect customer data and their own intellectual property. What’s more, website visitors find CAPTCHA annoying. In many cases, CAPTCHA has been responsible for high bounce rates.

What is the best CAPTCHA solution today? Well, we’ve tested different tools and done research on your behalf. Here are the six best CAPTCHA alternatives to consider today.

6 Best CAPTCHA Alternatives

I. Two-factor Authentication

Any method that requires website users to offer more than their usernames and password can qualify as two-factor authentication. The most common example is being required to give a code sent to your email or phone on top of providing your password. Two-factor authentication banks on a user having exclusive or secure access to their email or phone, making it hard for third parties to get access.

Two-factor authentication also stands out for being less involved. Site users don’t need to solve a math problem or do a complex task. You simply wait for a code to be sent on your phone within seconds and use it to log in. It’s that simple!

II. Biometric Security

Biometric security also stands out among the best CAPTCHA alternatives. It is preferred today thanks to the many devices (Smartphones, tablets, and laptops) that have biometric security capabilities.

Mobile devices are the most popular today globally. Luckily, Smartphones have biometric security capabilities capable of verifying different body parts from the face to fingerprints. Biometric security stands out the most since it is nearly impossible to beat. Since it has its shortfalls, it is best used alongside other alternatives in this list. Concerns on privacy and identity have made some users uncomfortable about using biometric security to gain access to sites. However, it can easily qualify as the quickest and safest best CAPTCHA alternative today.

III. 3rd Party Authentication

This CAPTCHA alternative is great for membership or registration purposes. Offering your website visitors the ability to connect via a third-party i.e., using existing social media or email accounts, eliminates the need for a user to pre-fill forms or use CAPTCHA. 3rd party authentication is very common today, especially among membership sites.

You’ve probably seen many websites give you an alternative of registering with your Facebook or Gmail accounts. Since everyone has an email or social media account, allowing them to sign up using such accounts eliminates the need for users to fill in long forms or cope with CAPTCHA.

IV. Invisible CAPTCHA

If you hate making image or letter selections and don’t want to subject your website visitors to such activity, you can use invisible CAPTCHA instead. Invisible CAPTCHA identifies real users from bots based on their actions on your website. Bots have learned to beat CAPTCHA. However, CAPTCHA technology has also evolved. For instance, reCAPTCHA was introduced to deal with smart bots. ReCAPTCHA has undergone three major advancements dubbed v2, V2-invisible, and v3, making it very difficult for the most sophisticated bots to get through websites.

The plugins give site owners an opportunity to choose from three plugins i.e., v2 featuring a checkbox to confirm if you are a robot or not or the invisible CAPTCHA. It’s also possible to set multiple reCAPTCHAs or include a conditional login. V3 allows website owners to verify legitimate user interactions without any user interaction. There’s no need to click a checkbox. However, additional authentication will be required if an activity is “suspect”.

V. Akismet

If you run a WordPress site/blog, you should really consider Akismet. The spam protection plugin is a leading spam protection tool for WordPress installations. Akismet works in the background to prevent spam. The tool has both free and paid versions. Akismet is a popular CAPTCHA alternative for many reasons, the most notable being its ability to check and filter comments on sites that are likely to be spam.

What’s more, website owners can track the history of “suspect” comments that have been flagged or deleted. If you hate spam comments, Akismet is highly recommended. The plugin supports multiple languages, which means no spam comments are safe even if they are in foreign or vernacular languages. As of July 2021, the plugin has blocked over 518 billion spam comments.

VI. CleanTalk

CleanTalk can be described as a combination of all anti-spam plugins found on WordPress. The plugin is universally used in millions of WordPress sites to block spam. CleanTalk works effectively alongside other famous plugins like JetPack to stop all kinds of annoying spam activity, including spam comments. The plugin collects spam comments and puts them in a folder for you to review and permit/delete automatically. It’s also possible to ban spam comments silently.

The plugin can track spam registers, filtering them out in the process regardless of the plugin you are using to create your registration forms. Clean Talk works well with many popular plugins making it one of the best tools for stopping spam orders, spam subscriptions, spam bookings, spam comments, surveys, reviews, and more.

Summary

The best CAPTCHA alternative is one that will solve the problems of both website owners and users. Since different sites are built for different purposes, it’s important to assess the unique needs of your site. For a website requiring registration, you are better off using 3rd party authentication or risk losing website visitors who aren’t willing to fill long website subscriber or registration forms.

CAPTCHA alternatives like CleanTalk and Akismet will work best for WordPress site owners. Two-factor authentication and biometric security will work best for sites that need added security. Ideally, the best CAPTCHA alternative is one that meets unique and user security needs.

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