What is CAPTCHA?

CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a type of security measure known as challenge-response authentication. CAPTCHA helps protect you from spam and password decryption by asking you to complete a simple test that proves you are human and not a computer trying to break into a password protected account.

A CAPTCHA test is made up of two simple parts: a randomly generated sequence of letters and/or numbers that appear as a distorted image, and a text box. To pass a the test and prove your human identity, simply type the characters you see in the image into the text box.

Why does Google use CAPTCHA?

Google is committed to keeping your information safe and secure. CAPTCHA offers protection from remote digital entry by making sure only a human being with the right password can access your account. CAPTCHA works because computers can create a distorted image and process a response, but they can't read or solve the problem the way a human must to pass the test.

Many web services, including Google, use CAPTCHA to help prevent unauthorized account entry. You may also see CAPTCHA on other sites that provide access to sensitive information, such as bank or credit card accounts.

When does Google use CAPTCHA?

Google uses CAPTCHA to strengthen the security around the most sensitive account access points. You may see a CAPTCHA when you:

  • Sign up for a new Google service (Gmail, Blogger, YouTube)
  • Sign up for any edition of a Google Apps Account
  • Change a password on an existing account
  • Setup Google services for a third party device or application (such as iPhone , Outlook, ActiveSync, etc.)

 

I am having difficulty viewing a CAPTCHA image. What can I do?

If you can’t see a CAPTCHA image or are having trouble reading the text, refresh your browser for a new image.

Although CAPTCHAs normally rely on images, audio versions are available for the visually impaired. To access an audio version, click the link that appears near the text box as the International Symbol of Access image (the wheel-chair icon). The alternate text for this image is, “Listen and then type the numbers you hear.” CAPTCHA is not supported for the deaf-blind community.