HTML 108.2 – Captcha

web-forms3Installing Form Security

A CAPTCHA is a program that can tell whether its user is a human or a computer. Computer programs can be bots that surf your site looking for information to use for malicious purposes. This type of phishing can capture email addresses on your contact forms and then begin spamming you endlessly. Or hackers can attempt to use your email for the spamming purposes.

Captcha creates a generating and grading test that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot.

You can acquire a free, secure and accessible CAPTCHA from the reCAPTCHA project. This is a Google project and it can be used for WordPress, MediaWiki, PHP, ASP.NET, Perl, Python, Java, and many other environments.

They’re becoming very popular because they are affective in dealing with the phishing problems. And for the most part, they’re pretty easy to set up and use. You’ve probably seen these tests when you’ve filled out a request form or tried to email someone through a contact form. For example, humans can read distorted text as the one shown below, but current computer programs can’t.

The Captcha test field is generally placed at the end of a form and is activated when you press submit, or it’s part of the form process that requires input for the test in order to submit the form.  You can visit Captcha.net to learn more, see what versions are available and how they can be applied to protect your site.

captcha
Getting Captcha and installing it is pretty easy. Here are a few steps to help you sign up, download and install the components for Captcha.

  1. Visit reCaptcha and sign up for your free Captcha key.
  2. On their site, enter your domain and create your keys.
    There will be two keys. A private key and a public key.
  3. Copy your keys to a safe place where you keep information about your website.
    Google also gives you the option of downloading your keys in a CSV file. This is helpful if you have more than one website and you want a key for each one.
  4. Next you’ll need to download the recaptchalib.php script.
    1. To use reCAPTCHA with PHP, go to the reCAPTCHA PHP library and download the zip file.
    2. Open your computer’s file manager (My Computer on Windows). Locate the reCaptcha-PHP.zip. Your Windows file manager will allow you to extract the files within the zip file. In case you don’t know, a zip file is a compress package of multiple files. Within this zip file you will only need one file (recaptchalib.php). The other files are examples, readme and legal stuff — they don’t affect functionality.
    3. When you extract the zip file, make sure you’re putting it some where on your pc where you keep your other website information and files. The best place to put it is in the same folder (directory) where you will be using your web form. ie:
      mywebfolder/contact/
      – contact.html
      – feedbackform.php
      – thankyou.html
      – error.html
      – recaptchalib.php
    4. Up load your contact files to your website. They must be in the same directory on your web host server.

Now you can create a Captcha contact program and form to use your Captcha keys. For that, I recommend using TheSiteWizard’s Contact Form wizard. You’ll be able to customize a contact program with your Captcha keys, and it will generate both the program and the contact form for you to use. You can visit my write-up on this at HTML 108.1 – TheSiteWizard Form.

That’s all there is to getting the Captcha. Pretty easy don’t you think?

© 1997-2014 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D., Springwolf's Kosmos. All Rights Reserved.
© 1997-2014 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D., Springwolf’s Kosmos. All Rights Reserved.

 

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