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My site sends a confirmation email on sign up. There is also a captcha on the signup page. I was thinking... gmail, hotmail and maybe yahoo has captchas on their signup page? In that case should i ignore the captchas on my page since i know spambots cant use gmail/hotmail to confirm the email?

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You should not ignore captchas because email providers use them. Not all of them do.

However, you should try to avoid captchas. If you can prevent spamming and stuff without using captchas, you will better off. However, this might not always be possible- but sometimes it is, and then, IMHO, then totally worth the effort.

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I have captcha on several of my sites, and I still get spam sign-ups using google, yahoo, or other accounts. It turns out spammers are rather dedicated to bypassing tricks high-volume sites use, but not so much in small sites like mine.

Thus, while you can choose to put all your eggs in someone else's basket, I'd keep those checks local as well.

There are many forms of captcha, and I actually quite like the one used on cricket mobile's site, where a 3x3 array of images is presented, and the user is asked to "click on all the hearts" or "click on all the diamonds."

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What did you think of recaptcha? have you tried that? – acidzombie24 Dec 23 '09 at 14:23
recaptcha is what I use right now. I like it overall, and it's a great idea and system. Reliable, etc. However... it still requires me to depend upon another system for mine to work properly, it is more difficult to test when not connected to the network (development is what i do), etc. That said, I'd recommend it over a home-grown system in general. – Michael Graff Dec 23 '09 at 20:08

Security should be as un-intrusive as possible. IMHO CAPTCHA is an awful 'security' measure that just moves a problem from the site owner, onto the site's users - not good/nice/clever. There are far better ways to stop and block the bad guys these days.

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