Websites have been using Captchas since around 2000. Still, many people have never heard of it or don’t exactly know what it is. So you can just imagine how clueless they would get even more if they’re asked about a captcha entry job.

If you belong to the “triple W” generation and you don’t know what Captcha is, it’s all right. It’s a bit on the usually ignored technical aspect of websites that’s why many internet surfers still don’t know about it even if they’ve already encountered it countless times.

Captcha stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.” (Good thing they coined the acronym, right?) It is what we almost always see whenever we fill out sign up or registration forms online. Usually placed near or at the end of online sign up forms, Captcha comes in the form of an image in which there are slightly distorted letters and numbers. The user should read the image and type the alphanumeric combination in the text box provided to proceed with whatever he/she wants to do on the website (e.g., sign up, post a comment, do a search, etc.).

As its full name implies, Captcha is a way to counter spamming bots, or online programs that “crawl” websites to read information, fill out forms, and post comments. Captchas had been effective until programs were developed to “read” the images. So, companies designed more complicated Captchas that couldn’t be decoded by programs. Hence, Captcha entry jobs started.

With Captcha’s background already explained, you should more or less have an idea on what people do as Captcha encoders. Some companies wanting to send promotional materials and invitations to millions of internet users bypass anti-spam measures by using bots to fill out forms and comment boxes and employing humans to decode the Captcha images.

The number of spam entries bots make is more or less equal to the number of images that should be decoded?and there could be hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of Captchas. This is why there are countless online job posts for Captcha entry projects. However, when it comes to earning through this job, it wouldn’t be biased to say that it indeed is one of the most low-paying home-based jobs you can get.

You’d be lucky to get a rate of 25 cents per image. However, most companies post their ads in freelancing sites where freelancers have to bid for prices to get the project. So the tendency is, the buying price gets lower as more sellers (freelancers) try to outbid each other. And when we say gets lower, we mean really, really low. Captcha entry projects could pay as low as $1.00 for 2,000 Captcha images. Some even had teams of encoders to produce as much as 100,000 entries per day.

It is said that bypassing such anti-spam automated test is against the law and constitute a cyber crime, but many still continue doing it to earn money however low the pay is.

Until Next Time,

Joshua Shoemaker

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