What Is CAPTCHA (Besides An Online Annoyance)?

CAPTCHAs were invented to stop spamming robots from infiltrating forums, ticket-buying websites, and other areas of the web. The most familiar CAPTCHAs use distorted text that a user must type into a box, but newer tests can incorporate images and even games.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. In 1864, people were upset about an unsolicited telegram advertising a dental practice, one of the very first pieces of spam. 00:04

  2. In 1998, Yahoo was besieged by millions of spambots setting up email accounts. 00:33

  3. Computers have become better at reading CAPTCHAs, prompting CAPTCHAs to become more difficult. 01:05