Every time we register a new app or sign up on a different website, we have to jump through the verification hoops. Kik users will be very familiar with the app’s use of Captcha for verification.
In the sea of messaging applications that exist on our mobile devices’ app stores, it takes some special features to make one stand apart from the rest. Kik Messenger is one such chat application that’s so packed with features, it’s hard to see it as a simple messaging app. It’s streamlined and customizable, and allows its users to send a lot more than just words: you can attach emoji, images, videos, sound files, and even links to your favorite social media and viral web content thanks to Kik’s onboard browser.
What’s even better? Kik doesn’t force you to yield an abundance of personal information in order to create an account. Where other applications absolutely require you to register an active phone number before you can set up a profile, Kik only asks for a unique username and email address–both of which can be provided without sacrificing your privacy. It’s a simple thing, but a multitude of other benefits stem from this one simple feature.
Many other chat applications, for example, can’t be emulated in an Android environment on a laptop and desktop if you don’t have that critical phone number to get a profile registered in the first place. Kik will let you get rolling without a hindrance, and you’ll have access to the same features that everyone on Kik does. Maybe you simply value privacy and don’t want anyone to know anything about you beyond your username and email. While other apps require you to divulge more personal contact information, Kik carries the reassurance of not having to do so. If you wish, you can even simply create a free email account solely for the purpose of your Kik user profile.
Kik’s Verification System
However, Kik does have precautions in place to prevent automated “bots” from creating faulty accounts within the framework of its service. When you sign up for a new user profile, you’re often asked to authenticate yourself via a series of character entries, or more frequently, use of the “captcha” identification service. This is a simple process that’s used to distinguish human users from programmed bots and is in place to help a server-dependant system like Kik Messenger to remain stable. Usually, captcha verification is accompanied by the phrase, “Please prove that you are human.” Simple in concept, and also simple in goal. What’s less simple is the actual, unabbreviated captcha name: “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart.” It’s a concise title that tells you exactly what captcha does, but I think we’ll continue referring to it as “captcha” for the remainder of this article.
Captcha works like this: an image is provided to you that contains a word, or a series of numbers and letters. Usually, the font is unconventional, and the letters are a combination of uppercase and lowercase. This is to confuse automized “bot” recognition from recognizing the characters in the image. What you’re asked to do in order to pass the authentication is input the characters in the image into an entry field. Under most circumstances, it’s a quick, simple process.
While the captcha system has throughput benefits for keeping a service like Kik active and functioning, it can occasionally cause a hiccup in a program’s operation. What happens when you encounter a hardware error, in the middle of inputting a captcha request? What do you do when your application freezes up in the middle of creating a profile? Each captcha image comes along with a swift expiration date; you’ll need a new captcha to input if you take too long, for whatever reason.
Refreshing Captcha in Kik Messenger
Thankfully, this is an easy process! You may be confronted with a captcha to input either when you’re making a new profile on Kik, logging into an existing one, or more frequently, logging into Kik from a different device. In these instances, captcha is used both to authenticate that you’re not a programmed bot, and also to protect the security of your user profile. Both of these things are, without argument, important!
There are several reasons that you might need to refresh a captcha image. It’s possible for the image to expire before you input it, thereby making it ineffective. Occasionally, a captcha image’s resolution and the characters present in it might be too obscure for your to read clearly. Sometimes, there’s an error in the captcha image registration that causes your input to be rejected. No matter the reason, forcing captcha to refresh and provide a different image carries no penalty, and so you shouldn’t be afraid to use it if necessary.
The simplest method is to hit the small “refresh” symbol located next to the captcha image. This will provide you with a fresh image and new characters to input for your verification. Additionally, you can refresh the captcha image as many times as you need, until you receive an image that has clearly recognizable characters. Easy, right?
Captcha is the bane of the Internet. I can’t figure them out myself half the time!- Matt Mullenweg
Troubleshooting Kik Captcha Verification
Occasionally, the captcha system can prove problematic in ways that aren’t resolved with a simple image refresh. What do you do when you’re certain that you’ve entered the characters correctly, and the system still won’t allow you past the verification? Since the captcha verification system is actually quite simple, it rarely encounters errors that aren’t fixed with that simple refresh system. Still, the occasional frustration can crop up, but it rarely has to do with captcha at all.
Usually, this comes down to an internet connection issue or an error in the application itself. In the same way, you won’t be able to send messages through Kik when you don’t have a stable internet connection, you won’t be able to complete the captcha verification system. The solution? Work your way through a series of potential fixes with the following steps:
- Reset the Kik Messenger application. Close it out from your device’s home screen.
- Reset the Wi-Fi or cellular data connection on your device.
- If you have access to it, reset the internet access point (usually at a home internet connection)
After each of these steps, try entering a fresh captcha code. You’d be surprised at how easily a flaky internet connection can cause simple issues like this. The system itself is fairly easy to troubleshoot, and any error that occurs with it most often is due to a fault in the application or a hardware issue. Nine times out of ten, however, simply refreshing the captcha image and inputting the new characters will get you past this verification stage, without requiring any of the above troubleshooting steps.
Using Kik on a Different Device
While you can certainly log into your Kik profile on any device that hosts the app, you may run into authentication procedures when doing so. When not using email verification, many apps rely on services like captcha in order to keep users’ accounts secure. As opposed to the frequently used method of sending an email for confirmation and verification, the use of captcha is both quick and capable of being handled without asking you to leave the app, at all.
Additionally, your chat message and browsing history are stored locally on a given device, meaning that it won’t be copied over to a different device, should you choose to log onto Kik elsewhere. Some users might see this as an annoyance, but it’s more easily likened to an additional layer of security for your communications and your list of contacts. Should you run into captcha authentication when doing this, simply follow the same procedures above if you encounter any errors.
Verification for Profile Security
Why is captcha such a useful authentication solution? Mostly due to the aforementioned simplicity, but also due to the amount of havoc that automated bots can wreak upon a user’s profile. Since Kik Messenger only requires an username and email address in order to create a user profile, using a cell phone number to authenticate your account isn’t an option. Since anyone that knows your username can trigger a password reset request, these sorts of extra verification precautions become essential for keeping your user profile safe and secure.
As mentioned previously, they also keep Kik Messenger free of automated bot programs. While not always malicious, these bots can bog down servers and generate massive amounts of unwanted spam messages. In Kik, anyone can message anyone, provided they have an accurate username and aren’t currently blocked by the intended recipient. Therefore, we can all be a little thankful that something so simple as captcha keeps a majority of this annoyance out of Kik Messenger.
All in all, captcha is an easy asset to manage, and the “refresh” button next to a captcha image will fix the vast majority of issues that you ever encounter with it. For the sense of security that comes from a safe account, and the smooth, lightning-quick chat experience that’s available on Kik, the time that verification takes is a small price to pay!