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Are you into Captchas?

CAPTCHAs are not accessibility friendly! There I said it. To be honest they are the most unfriendly things on the net. Anyone with bad eyesight can very seldom do them if they ever could. They will not pass the accessibility laws, and personally I think there are easier ways of safeguarding your site from spam bots.

It is interesting that so many people have been using it because by using it, you are actually in contravention of the laws of many lands. It is not easy to read 99% of the time and some of them are so bad even when you enter the different ones on several occasions your chances of entering are slim to nil. Personally then I just move on.  There is someone else on the net with the same information, and it’s just a case of an internet search to find an alternate site.

CAPTCHAs really do not do your website any favors, especially the ones which are virtually impossible to read. If you have to squint turn your head sideways and unscramble letters you aren’t into making friends. You are just annoying people.

From the legal standpoint, you are transgressing the accessibility laws of numerous countries with regard to the disabled.  Now I know for many years the internet has been a law unto itself and because of that people seem to have almost gone too far with what they are doing. By ignoring the laws that have been implemented, or rather I should say promulgated, you are inviting the governments around the world to crack down harder on the internet if a simple law that actually is for the good of both your website and the visitors is ignored.

With the current climate with regard to information on the net and accessibility it’s a good idea to adhere so that it doesn’t have a ripple effect. The time to kick back is not against a law that is for the good but when the law is to the detriment of the web.

Alternatives to keep your site safe are available and this is the direction we should steer into.  One of these is to use a 2 + 2 method. By providing the answer which can be read but not answered by a bot you will have the knowledge it is a human doing the sum and not a bot. You will have to have it in a voice as well so that the blind or semi blind can insert the answer but that should not pose a difficulty to a good web designer. This is usually done in the form of a JavaScript script which is easily found. However, to be really honest if you have to go through all these hoops to enter a website or blog do you really want to enter it? Probably not. I prefer to have a site open and accessible and rely on anti spam methods to keep the site safe. Use of certain software usually picks up most spam comments, and it’s merely a case of vetting the ones that get through. For this you would probably use Akismet, which is on most WordPress sites any ways. It’s just a case of activating it.

By using an off site email like Google or Yahoo to receive your mail you will have the spam filtered so shouldn’t have much problem. In addition when you enter the address to forward it to you might consider putting it in, in Unicode. Bots won’t or shouldn’t be able to read this if you did it correctly.  There are also some website programs that will scrambler the address thus making it almost impossible for a bot to read it, another way of putting the e-mail address up in the name at whatever dot com. This doesn’t appear to be an email address to anyone except a human.

Do you really need CAPTCHAs? No you don’t.


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