reCAPTCHA is an invaluable line of defense in keeping malicious spambots at bay, even better it's mostly free and quick to set up.
reCAPTCHA hails back many years and has seen a few iterations throughout its lifespan (many won't have the fondest memories of trying to prove humanity through some of the early text decipherings).
The latest version though (v3) is brilliant as most users will not even know it is in effect. This version uses behavior analysis to determine whether a visitor is legitimate, and only in more suspicious cases asks the users to hit the button to prove there are made of flesh and blood.
You have almost certainly seen this guy
Enough background chat, let's get it set up (it won't take long).
We only need two browser tabs open.
If you have never set up a reCAPTCHA before, this reCAPTCHA link above will take you straight to the create page.
If you have then you will go to the admin console, and add a new reCAPTCHA with the plus icon in the top right
Once on the 'Register a new site' page, you will see the following:
This is the hardest part of the whole setup
Each section is explained by Google well, but for clarity:
- 1.Label - This is just how the reCAPTCHA setup will be named in your reCAPTCHA Admin console once set up.
- 2.reCAPTCHA Type - This bit is important, ensure to choose reCAPTCHA v3 only, as the other may cause issues (v3 is the best for user experience as well).
- 3.Domains - This is simply the root domain where your exchange is hosted.
- 4.Owners - Where emails of any alerts will go, most likely you will choose your admin email
With those options filled in, accept the terms, decide if you want owners to receive alerts or not and click submit.
Once submitted you will receive two keys as below. Now it's time to stick these two into your exchange.
It has even got a nice easy copy button for each key
Head into the operator controls of your exchange to General -> Security. In the middle of this page, you will see a reCAPTCHA section with two input boxes.
Now take those two generated keys from Google, copy and paste each one into the relevant box, and hit save - easy as that!
General -> Security -> Paste Keys from Google and Save!
With all these steps done, reCAPTCHA is now protecting your exchange!
Give it a little one and then check out your login page. If everything has gone to plan, you should see a little reCAPTCHA icon in the bottom right assuring you, and your users, the exchange is protected.
The seal of approval!