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Friday, May 25, 2007

Protect Your Email Address Using a CAPTCHA (Word Puzzle)

A CAPTCHA is a test to determine whether you are a human or a robot. What this means in practice is asking you to type out the distorted letters you see in little graphics that often appear alongside registration forms and the like.

reCAPTCHA is a little different. Instead of solving meaningless word puzzles, you are presented with two snippets of text. One is from a book, and the other has already been solved by the computer. If you answer the word that the computer already knows the answer to correctly, the computer assumes you answered the unknown word correctly too.

The key is that you can't tell which is which. It's a clever way to help digitize books (60 million CAPTCHAs are solved every day), and it can also help protect your email address.

The Mailhide service offered by reCAPTCHA lets you protect your email address using one of these puzzles. You get a link to put on your site, which leads to a reCAPTCHA. To get your full email, someone has to solve it correctly.

If you're already facing a flood of junk mail, check out these email tips to help manage the deluge.


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