Have you heard of CAPTCHAs? An acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart,” they’ve become increasingly common. When browsing websites or completing online forms, you may be required to complete a CAPTCHA. While you’ve probably encountered them before, you might be surprised to learn the five following facts about CAPTCHAs.
#1) Originated in the Early 2000s
CAPTCHAs have been around for several decades. Some of the first CAPTCHAs appeared in 2000. They were used to filter bot traffic from the signup page for a cloud-sharing service known as idrive.com. Just one year later, PayPal adopted CAPTCHAs as a fraud prevention tool. CAPTCHAs are now used by millions of websites and online services.
#2) 30% Human Error Rate
While they do a pretty good job at distinguishing between human users and bots, CAPTCHAs can be difficult to complete. According to a Baymard research study, the rate of human error for completing them is nearly 30%. In other words, for every 100 human users who attempt to complete a CAPTCHA, about 30 of them will fail.
#3) Not All CAPTCHAs Are Visual
When most people think of CAPTCHAs, they envision digital images of words with misaligned or scrambled letters. This is one of the most common formats in which CAPTCHAs are used. With this format, you’ll have to enter the misaligned or scrambled letters in the CAPTCHA’s field. But not all CAPTCHAs use this visual format. There are audio CAPTCHAs as well. Audio CAPTCHAs require users to listen to a set of words or a phrase, after which they must enter the words or phrase in the CAPTCHA’s field.
#4) 10 Seconds to Solve
It takes the average user about 10 seconds to solve a CAPTCHA. Of course, some CAPTCHAs are more complex than others. And the complexity of a CAPTCHA will influence how long it takes to solve. Simple CAPTCAHs take less time to solve than their complex counterparts. Nonetheless, 10 seconds is the average length of time it takes to solve a CAPTCHA.
#5) Google Offers Its Own CAPTCHA
The popular search engine offers its own CAPTCHA. Known as reCAPTCHA, it doesn’t consist of random words. Rather, reCAPTCHA uses excerpts or real-like photos. It still serves the same purpose of distinguishing between bots and human users. Google’s reCAPTCHA service just uses a different format for this test, which it makes available to all users.
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