Effective spam protection is important for all website operators. Especially the contact form is used to send unwanted messages, so this area of a website should be considered particularly worthy of protection. We would like to introduce you to various ways of protecting your contact form from being accessed by automated programs and bots.
Unfortunately, there is no one hundred percent protection against spam, because bots are also constantly evolving. Nevertheless, you can prevent most of the spam by setting up an effective spam protection software solution. However, you should not only pay attention to the protective effect, but also to the fact that you comply with the applicable data protection requirements. We’ll go into more detail about solutions that both protect you from spam and comply with the GDPR later in the article.
What makes a good contact form?
A good contact form is a great way for the website owner to engage in dialogue with visitors. At the same time, good forms are characterized by the fact that they are easy and convenient for the user to use. So you always have to put yourself in the user’s perspective when choosing a form solution.
You have probably already used an online form to contact a company many times. Depending on how important your request was, you will have either accepted several hurdles or looked for another provider as an alternative. Since you want to get in touch with the user of your website, you definitely have to pay attention to user-friendliness. In addition to the form design, the method used to protect against spam also plays an essential role here.
What are ways to make a contact form spam-proof?
Let’s now move on to the various ways that can help you prevent spam. This is how we put you in a position to make a decision for your company.
Most spam messages are automatically generated advertisements. Typically, they are about eroticism and gambling. One way to block such messages is the word filter. You can define yourself which words should not be included in the messages that can be sent to you.
A basic distinction is made between individual words and words that contain a certain term. You yourself determine which terms are to be excluded in your contact form. You should always update the word filter if you receive too many unwanted messages despite the word filter. In addition, you must make sure that you do not accidentally filter out messages that come from real users.
Let’s move on to another method, the so-called honeypots. This is a trap that is set for the bots. A contact form with a honeypot contains an invisible field that must not be filled. While this is not visible to the human eye and therefore is not filled by human website visitors, simple-minded bots recognize the field and fill it. This allows you to exclude their messages. However, this method no longer works against modern bots. Once they identify the trap, they can permanently bypass it and send spam messages again after all.
Contact form with captcha
Most widely used as spam protection are contact forms with captcha. This is a task that can distinguish a human from a computer.
There are different types of captcha tests, which you have surely had to solve many times to confirm that you are a human. For example, it is typical that you have to type a distorted word from an image file. But the task can also be to mark several pictures with a certain motif. Calculation tasks are also among the possibilities to protect a contact form with a captcha.
Although this is an effective method for preventing spam, care must be taken to ensure that the method used is user-friendly and complies with the General Data Protection Regulation. Whenever a user’s data is processed, particularly high data security standards must be met.
Why Friendly Captcha is the best captcha solution
At Friendly Captcha, we have developed a captcha test that differs significantly in its application from previously known tests. In our test, the user does not have to answer any questions or provide any additional information. While the user fills in the contact form, Friendly Captcha determines in the background whether the request is human or machine.
Our spam protection for contact forms is GDPR compliant and does not present you with any legal challenges. No user data is stored and the user does not have to solve any task, as a cryptographic puzzle is automatically solved in the background. Since this only takes a few seconds, it is usually completed before the contact form is fully filled out.
Different plans available
Friendly Captcha is suitable for all types of websites and web applications. We have put together different packages aimed at small, medium and enterprise customers with different levels of traffic. We are sure that Friendly Captcha can make a valuable contribution to preventing spam.