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Tweaking the reCaptha Security

We’ve had a couple folks note that the reCaptha security can sometimes be difficult for them.

I want to make everything as easy as possible for folks, but I have to try balancing easiness with the need to keep the ‘bots’ off our site. So far (in 6 years) I have been quite amazed to find very little bot action getting through–and believe me they are trying every hour of every day–I have the stats and they are crazy numbers hitting the site daily.

I have made a tweak to the security and we will see where we go from here. I will observe the spam and bots and see if it increases–if I see a bunch of bots getting through then I will have to re-tweak, but if not we will leave it with new settings. I do not want to be specific with the changes I have made (or will make) because I don’t want to attract spammers.

15 thoughts on “Tweaking the reCaptha Security”

  1. Speaking of tweaks, what’s happened to the “Edit” feature? It seems as though I don’t get that 5 minute window to edit what I posted anymore….

    NOTE: but of course this time, since this posted originally I DID get the chance to edit – witness this add-on sentence…

    1. 2wr–it should always be there – no changes made, but I will check it and see what the scoop might be.

    2. 2WR – its reappearance is just proof that the gremlins in the machine are alive and well.

  2. I have not been quizzed. FWIW:
    – browser: Chrome
    – not logged in Gmail (or any google account)
    – not using VPN
    – Windows10 (always updated)
    – have kept cookies for III site as safe (when running CCleaner)

  3. I must be missing something. Can’t understand how clicking a reCaptha box is difficult.

    1. My guess is ppl click “I’m not a robot,” but then go back and read their post, decide to add more to the post, and while they are doing that the captcha keeps asking you to click it every 30secs or minute. Not difficult persay but it can be a bit annoying.

    2. My recent experience is the Captha quiz has become much more onerous. Where it used to just ask you to click a ‘not a robot’ box, now it makes you take a quiz and often more than one before you’re verified.

        1. The reCAPTCHA tool’s “take a quiz” asks you to identify pictures (“which pictures show bicycles”). Very standard anti-bot tool. Tim is trying to use things like reCAPTCHA to keep bots off the site (thanks, Tim – I would rather fight with the screening tools than drown in bot traffic).

          reCAPTCHA also looks at other factors and tries not to quiz everyone if it seesthings that make it think you are not a bot.
          I used to get asked to take the quiz about 1 post in 10. Recently the rate has been higher. Tim made some tweaks, so we will see how that goes.

          I suspect that if everyone were just running “vanilla” – “normal” browser, no incognito mode, no ad blockers, no script blockers, etc., most everyone would only be asked to take a quiz once in a great while.

          For better or worse, we have a diverse community and a lot of people run those kinds of protective tools (and others), which can confuse reCAPTCHA. For example, if you don’t allow google javascript to run on this page, you won’t even see the reCAPTCHA logo/check box.

          Fighting bots is an arms race between the blocking technologies and the bot writers.

          FWIW – when I posted this, reCAPTCHA didn’t ask me to take the quiz.

          1. Ignore this. Im doing a simple reply now to test Captcha. It has destroyed me with hundreds of asks for pictures. Nice!!!!!!! i didnt get killed.

            And now am editing my post to state it works.

    3. danzeb–sometimes it is the picture quiz–I’ve had to answer 2 or 3 times–it can be a pain.

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