Reduce Junk Form Submissions On Your Company Website
Businesses use website forms for capturing leads, support requests, general inquiries, and many other useful purposes. Without the proper precautions, however, junk form submissions from malicious programs (e.g. spam-bots) can really cause problems.
Junk form submissions—another form of “spam”—are a time-wasting nuisance. Even with junk mail filters in place, they can increase the chances of a legitimate email being overlooked due to the “white noise” that they create. They can even be used to exploit your website to promote the spam products we’ve all seen: “hot” stock market tips, male enhancement pills, prescription drugs, and so on. In the most extreme cases, these tactics can be used to compromise the security of your website and data.
Modern websites get around this problem using a technology known as CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Ok, so it’s not the greatest acronym in the world. But what it does is great. CAPTCHA is a challenge and response system to make sure that it is indeed a human being submitting the website form. It works by displaying an image of distorted text like:
The image is too distorted for optical character recognition software to accurately read. However, it is trivial for a human being to interpret. By typing the letters displayed into a form field, the CAPTCHA test is satisfied and the form submission is allowed.
Though CAPTCHA has been around for a while, many older websites still don’t utilize this technology. If you have a problem with junk form submissions and want to protect your website from exploitation, consider implementing CAPTCHA. Though it doesn’t work 100% of the time—spammers continue to use more sophisticated methods to bypass CAPTCHA—it has been proven to greatly reduce the amount of spam received.