View Full Version : Why is Google Requiring "Captcha" Suddenly?
September 26th, 2011, 01:55 PM
Are you experiencing this? For the last couple of days, I'm always getting a re-directed page from Google, requiring me to enter a "Captcha", usually more than once. The top of the page says something like: "We have detected unusual search activity from your computer. Please enter the Captcha below to prove you are not a robot".*
Also: it gives me some info on my I.P. location, which it thinks is Oxnard, CA, rather than Canoga Park, CA, where I connect from. Could this be because I accessed the web from my friend's office's broadband from my machine last year? I encountered another service (which may also have been a Google service) that seemed to think my location was Ventura, CA, which is in the same general vicinity of Oxnard. What I don't understand is why all my subsequent activity hasn't registered on Google that my I.P. is in Canoga Park. Even though my connection is dial-up, isn't your I.P. location where you are at that particular moment………or is I.P. information based from some other criteria, like my provider's location?
September 26th, 2011, 06:42 PM
You IP address is going to trace back to your ISP, which is most likely located in Canoga Park.
Just for example, we used to have T-1 service through Texas.Net, and any kind of IP locator service would put us in Austin, Texas -- even though we're located 70 miles south in San Antonio.
IP address location is not an exact science like GPS is. You cannot reliably determine a person's location via their IP address -- only recently has there been a push to document the physical location of IP addresses, and in many cases, the location information is going to be for the ISP, not the end-user.
In short, you cannot trust IP address geolocation because it is inaccurate, incomplete, and inexact... though it will usually get you "close enough for government work."
Google captchas can appear if a few things happen:
1) You log in from a computer you've never logged in from before
2) You log in from a geographic location you've never logged in from before
3) You log in simultaneously from several locations that are geographically disperse
4) There have been repeated, failed attempts to log into your account
After successfully logging in from a computer and receiving that warning, it should not appear anymore. Are you saying that it constantly appears on the same computer, even when logging in successfully multiple times?
September 27th, 2011, 05:52 PM
Thanks for the info on IP's. I can relax about that now. As to logging in, this is from my home computer, which I don't require a log-on to. As with all my online accounts, I always choose the option of "staying signed-on", or "remember this computer". So you can see that none of the instances you mentioned above occurred. The closest I can think of, from Google's point of view, is that I DO often open several browser pages at the same time, and run as many different searches "simultaneously". Each search is prhased at least slightly differently, but often contain similar terms.
September 27th, 2011, 10:36 PM
Other instances where Google may present a captcha:
Google uses CAPTCHA to strengthen the security around the most sensitive account access points. You may see a CAPTCHA when you:
Sign up for a new Google service (Gmail, Blogger, YouTube)
Sign up for any edition of a Google Apps Account
Change a password on an existing account
Setup Google services for a third party device or application (such as iPhone , Outlook, ActiveSync, etc.)
But - it's likely that you now have a similar problem to this long thread at the Google support forums
September 28th, 2011, 12:50 PM
DeltaMac: Thanks for the link. After reading through the linked thread, it seems to be EXACTLY what I'm experiencing. :)
September 28th, 2011, 09:08 PM
I would try to use another DNS server than your ISP. Open System Preferences->Network pane, Advanced button, DNS. Try to use either Google's DNS (http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/) or [/url=http://www.opendns.com/]OpenDNS[/url] and see if it is your ISPs DNS that is messing up, hijacked or your Mac has a DNS trojan installed.