Form spam is not only annoying, it can hurt your business as well. Spambots scour the Internet every second, looking for weaknesses in your security. If any of them manage to pass, you could suffer a devastating malicious attack on your system. Cyber attacks can cripple businesses. Foolproof cybersecurity is therefore essential for any business. In the past, CAPTCHA was the go-to tool for preventing spam. Yet it was a cumbersome system that frustrated users and is now dead. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent spam without CAPTCHA. Let’s take a look at a few so that you can beef up your security against form spam.
Use session cookies to your advantage
There are many other ways to tell if a user is a bot other than filling out fuzzy forms. One of the most effective ways is to use session cookies. This way, you can track the time each user spends on your website.
The general rule is as follows:
- Humans tend to spend a lot of time on your site when reading articles and considering your services.
- On the other hand, Bots will only spend a few seconds on your site before submitting a form.
Block spam IP addresses
Hundreds of spambots can come from the same IP address. Once you’ve figured out which IP address is sending you tons of spam, block them! You might not know how easy it is to block an IP address from your website. Here is what you need to do:
- Go to the settings of your website editor.
- Click Show smart tags for user IP addresses.
And just like that, you will know the IP address of every email that is sent to you. From there, all you need to do is identify the IP address (es) that are spamming you. To block them, you can either:
1. Ask your web hosting company for help in blocking the IP address.
2. Download a security plugin that allows you to block the address.
Blocking IP addresses is another non-invasive security measure to prevent spam. Your users won’t have to do anything, and you can get rid of those pesky spambots.
Implement double opt-in forms
For your most important forms, such as building users and selling products, a double opt-in is a great idea. It might take a bit of time to do, and it takes some effort from your users, but it’s worth it. A double opt-in form works like this:
1. Your user enters their phone number or email address.
2. You send a verification code or a link to their contact details.
3. A physical user must follow the link or enter the code to verify that they are indeed a human being.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to do this for every form on your website. If a form just lets you download a video or PDF for free, for example, you won’t need it. Double opt-ins are extraordinary security measures to protect your critical forms. Try to use them sparingly, as they require an extra step on the part of your users.
Nowadays, reCAPTCHA is the successor to the CAPTCHA forms. Since Google killed CAPTCHA, they use reCAPTCHA as a replacement. It works the same as a CAPTCHA test, without all the hassle.
Instead of a blurry block of text, users just need to check a box that confirms they’re not a robot. Checking this box only takes a second, which makes it much more convenient than CAPTCHA tests. A reCAPTCHA box will help you filter large amounts of spam from your website.
By now, you should know several ways to prevent spam without CAPTCHA testing. CAPTCHA may be gone, but there are plenty of viable replacements in its wake. Spam can constantly change and evolve, but so do our security measures.
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