reCAPTCHA: What It Is and Why You Should Use It on Your Website

Every once in a while, you will encounter a prompt that asks you to prove whether you are a human or not. These are called CAPTCHAs or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. To put it simply, it is a cybersecurity measure meant to differentiate humans from bots.

reCAPTCHA is the most widely used CAPTCHA system today with over 789,000 websites using it in the United States alone. If you are not familiar with reCAPTCHA, let us tell you what it is and why you need it on your website.

What is reCAPTCHA?

reCAPTCHA is a free security service from Google that protects websites from spam and abuse. Compared to a traditional CAPTCHA which makes use of distorted text to distinguish bots from humans, reCAPTCHA is more advanced in the sense that it utilizes simpler but more secure verification methods to deter bots from invading your website.

How Does reCAPTCHA Work?

The main goal of reCAPTCHA is to distinguish human users from automated bots through a Turing test. Artificial intelligence is used to recognize behaviors and patterns to determine whether a user is a bot or not. Once a classification is made, those who pass the verification process will be able to access the website while those who failed will either be asked to take another test or be blocked completely.

Throughout the years, more advanced bots have been developed to easily solve traditional CAPTCHAs. Because of this, reCAPTCHA was also improved to incorporate more complex evaluations that are difficult for bots to recognize but are easily solved by humans.

Currently, there are two versions of reCAPTCHA available: version 2 and version 3. Version one has been shut down since March 2018 and is no longer available for use.

You are probably already familiar with reCAPTCHA v2. The verification methods that this version employs include selecting images that fit a certain theme or checking a box next to a statement that says “I am not a robot”.

reCAPTCHA v3, on the other hand, requires no user interaction at all. It makes use of the user’s behavior and interaction history to determine whether they are a bot or not. In case further verification is needed, v2 tests will be deployed.

Different Kinds of reCAPTCHA Tests

In order to determine whether a user is a human or not, reCAPTCHA makes use of different Turing tests for identity verification. These include text, image recognition, and checkbox reCAPTCHAs.


Traditional CAPTCHA tests made use of distorted letters and numbers that are difficult for computer programs to interpret. reCAPTCHA improved this test by making use of texts from real-world images, such as printed books and old newspapers.

Image Recognition reCAPTCHA

This kind of verification requires users to select images based on a certain theme or requirement. If you selected the same images as the majority of the other individuals who took the same test, your answers will be considered correct and you will be allowed to access the website that you wanted to visit.

Checkbox reCAPTCHA

The simplest out of the three, checkbox tests simply require you to click on a box next to a statement that says “I am not a robot”. The way that reCAPTCHA verifies this interaction is by observing the movement of the cursor to the checkbox. There is randomness in the way that a human will move the cursor and this cannot be easily mimicked by bots.

Benefits of Using reCAPTCHA on Your Website

If you want to improve the security of your website, you should integrate reCAPTCHA into your system. This will allow you to limit the amount of spam and bot interactions that you are getting which will improve the overall quality of your site for you and your visitors.

Aside from this, here are the other benefits of using reCAPTCHA on your website:

Limits fake registrations

If you offer services that require registration, such as newsletters, using reCAPTCHA will prevent bots from creating fake accounts that will clog your system. This will allow you to focus your resources on genuine interactions which will improve your users’ experience.

Prevents false comments

Comment sections on blogs and websites are a perfect target for bots and spammers. By denying entry to these malicious programs, you are able to ensure the safety of your site or message boards from suspicious links and harassment.

Maintains the integrity of online polls

reCAPTCHA verifications ensure that each individual who participates and submits answers in your polls is not a bot or spammer. This will allow you to make sure that the results of your poll are genuine and not manufactured by a computer program.

Equip Your Website with Our Help

There are a lot of ways to make your website more secure and using reCAPTCHA is one of them. If you want to integrate this security service into your system, we at Twin State Technical Services are ready to provide our expertise to help you keep your site secure and in excellent condition.

Contact us today for a consultation. Call 563-441-1504 or contact us online.


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