What Are CAPTCHAs?

The validation code that we ask you to enter before submitting information to the Health Physics Society is called a CAPTCHA, which is an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart." CAPTCHAs are designed to keep malicious computer "bots" and other automated programs from using Web forms to gather information about a server, initiate a cyber attack, or participate in phishing or spamming schemes. A CAPTCHA works by issuing a challenge to the person or entity attempting to post information in a form. The challenge is usually a simple visual test or puzzle that a human can complete without much difficulty, but that an automated program cannot understand.

We recently installed CAPTCHAs on all of our forms exposed to the public Internet following a series of coordinated attacks on our server. For additional description and discussion of CAPTCHAs, please see the Wikipedia article on CAPTCHAs or the CAPTCHA Project Website.

We apologize for any inconvenience that our CAPTCHAs might incur, but in this era of ever-escalating cyber maliciousness, we are forced to take measures to protect our website and our members from spammers, scammers, and other miscreants.