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A Change of CAPTCHA

19 Sep 2014 00:33 by Alexander John

Love them or hate them - and most people hate them - CAPTCHAs are a necessity on websites nowadays. Without this Are you human? challenge, website forms like our contact us cannot detect the difference between a human visitor or an automated system.

An un-CAPTCHA'd form is a sitting target for any malicious automated system to exploit. Potential exploits range from just submitting endless junk data right through to attempting to force a security breach. CAPTCHAs don't protect against exploits, but they do significantly reduce the risk of exposure.

So this is why we use CAPTCHAs on our Contact Us, Get A Quote and other forms on the public side of our website.

Until relatively recently, we've been using an image-based CAPTCHA. This is one of the most commonly used approaches where an image is presented containing skewed and distorted text that the user has to read and then input. Technically, this works fine. From a usability perspective, it is awful. Sometimes the text was unreadable and it was next to useless on a poor screen or for the visually impaired.

So, we've replacing all the CAPTCHA with a new maths-based challenge designed and built in-house. Instead of reading warped text, you'll now need to be able to add, subtract, multiple or divide. To keep things simple, all answers are in whole numbers - there will be no need to grab a pen and pencil to perform long division. There is also no need to know you're thirteen times tables, as it only goes upto 10.

We've already deployed the Math CAPTCHA on the Contact Us and Get A Quote pages and it will be the default CAPTCHA in the next TaxiOffice update.

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