There are several effective methods to reduce contact form spam on websites. Here are some suggestions:
- Implement CAPTCHA: Use CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) to verify that the form is being filled out by a human and not a spam bot. There are various types of CAPTCHA options available, such as image-based, math-based, or reCAPTCHA by Google.
- Enable form field validation: Add validation checks to ensure that all required fields are completed correctly before the form is submitted. This can help filter out automated spam submissions that often leave required fields blank or provide incorrect data.
- Use form honeypots: Honeypot fields are hidden form fields that are left invisible to users but are visible to spam bots. Since most bots automatically fill out all form fields, any submission with data in the honeypot field can be flagged as spam.
- Utilize email confirmation: Send an email to the provided address with a confirmation link or code that needs to be verified before the message is officially submitted. This can help ensure that the person filling out the form is indeed the owner of the email address.
- Employ anti-spam plugins or services: Many Content Management Systems (CMS) have plugins available that provide additional layers of security and spam protection for contact forms. These plugins often use advanced algorithms to recognize and block spam submissions.
- Moderate submissions: Assign an administrator or moderator to review and approve submissions manually. This allows for a human check to determine whether a submission is legitimate or spam.
- Regularly update your website and plugins: Keeping your website’s CMS, plugins, and other related software up-to-date is crucial as developers continuously improve security features, including protection against spam.
While these methods can significantly reduce contact form spam, it’s important to remember that there’s no foolproof solution. It’s a continuous battle to stay ahead of spammers, and employing multiple measures in combination often provides the best defense.