Captchas are those squiggly, random words or numbers you type in a box to prove to a Web site that you're a human being and not another computer. The word isn't a variation of "capture," it's an acronym: Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Internet Captcha is a free tool that creates colorful animated Captchas you can embed in your Web site to limit traffic to people and exclude other computers. The Captchas it creates use number codes with distortion, animated effects, and background objects that make them impossible for computers to read.
Internet Captcha's colorful, wizardlike interface creates Captchas in three easy steps. First, there's Visualization, where we set the background and number colors and the size, thickness, and movement of the numbers. We were also able to add simple iconlike background images and set their speed. In the Security step, we could set distortion levels, distance between numbers, maximum spin of the animation, and doping elements via level adjusters. Finally, the Code Resulting step generated code in ASP or PHP that we could copy and embed. A preview panel along the bottom displayed our Captcha as a work in progress, depicting various effects as we added them.
We chose our colors, background image, movement style, and speed, entered our text for Wrong Code and Correct Code (you can leave the default text, too) on the Visualization page, and moved to the Security features. A thermometerlike display rated our security choices as we made them. We ended up with a Captcha that was hard for us to read but impossible for a computer to decipher. We merely had to choose our language and whether we wanted to embed the code, save it as an ASP file, or other choices; Internet Captcha automatically generated the correct code and displayed it in the Result Code field. The program's Web site offers documentation and information, but this tool is basically self-explanatory since you can observe the result of every change you make. If you're concerned about access to your Web site, here's a free and easy solution.