People use WordPress for various reasons; running business websites are one of them. When managing a business website, one or the other time, you will have to use contact forms to interact with your customers or website visitors. However, contact forms can be frustrating because you will have to deal with contact form spam.
Hackers are everywhere and always be trying to work their way into websites by attacking them. So you will have to take precautionary measures to be sure that your website is secure. In this article, I will help you learn how to secure contact forms on your website.
What Exactly Is A contact Form?
Most business websites use contact forms, and they comprise query fields that collect your contact information like your name, contact number, or email address.
Customer data collection is a strategy that most businesses use, and they use the information for many purposes like new products promotion, understanding the customers, and more.
How Can You Create A Secure Contact Form?
Various WordPress plugins will help you create contact forms, and one of the best plugins is the Quiz and Survey Master plugin. It is not limited to creating contact forms but also assists you in making quizzes and surveys for your website visitors.
Read the article How to Collect Contact Information With a Quiz in WordPress? (4 Easy Steps) to learn how to create contact forms using QSM WordPress plugin.
Why Do You Need To Secure Contact Forms?
We all know that hackers stop at nothing to gain the upper hand in the battle between you and them. It sounds far-stretched but, come on, don’t you agree with me? Various WordPress vulnerabilities like the contact form vulnerabilities provide hackers myriad ways to attack a website.
If your website’s contact forms aren’t secure, spambots will submit a plethora of useless information to your website. It’ll be a nuisance for you to segregate the collected data and remove the unnecessary spam from your website. There are even possibilities of hackers stealing information from your website or embedding malicious code to it. Hence, it is very much necessary for you to secure your contact forms.
How To Secure Your Website Contact Forms?
Now that you have grasped the importance of securing contact forms on your website, let us dive into the ways of protecting them:
I doubt that someone living in 2021 wouldn’t know about reCAPTCHA. Everywhere you go on the internet, you find it trying to make sure that you are not a bot. There are different types of reCAPTCHA authentication. In one way, you select to check a box field, and the website will understand that a human is submitting the form.
There are other situations where you get asked to select some relevant pictures or enter a string of characters shown on the screen.
Another way is where the reCAPTCHA system will track the visitor’s behavior to determine if it’s a bot. But this method sometimes can prevent people from submitting the forms too. So, it is best to consider using the first two methods of reCAPTCHA.
You can also add a custom CAPTCHA to your website, using which you can ask the users to answer a mathematical or word question.
Block Bad IP Addresses
If you observe frequent spam attempts from a particular IP address, you can consider blocking that IP address. Doing this will protect your contact forms from bots. However, this may also prevent legit users from visiting your website. So, make the decision wisely.
The Hide My WP security plugin has a Trust Network using which we can block known harmful IP Addresses that pose a potential threat to your website.
Disable Copy And Paste Option In Your Forms
If you think that only bots spam your website contact forms, you are wrong. People can do it too(they got so much time on their hands, maybe?). Even though someone is so determined about spamming contact forms, you can’t expect him to type in the same thing over and over without getting exhausted. Let’s admit it; humans are lazy. So in situations like these, one uses the copy-paste option.
But we should have the wits to disable the right-click option on your website. This way, you can prevent someone from copy-pasting and spamming your website. An additional bonus is that you can also prevent people from stealing content from your website. How do you disable right-click functionality, though? Easy, we have many plugins available on WordPress that will help you accomplish the task at hand.
Use WordPress Security Plugins That Has Anti-Spam
It is a well-established fact that using a WordPress security plugin is very beneficial to your website. But when making a security plugin choice for your website, picking an anti-spam included one will help prevent attacks that use the contact form vulnerabilities.
The Hide My WP security plugin has an anti-spam feature and will prevent bots from spamming your website.
It is also very wise to use WordPress security plugins because we can’t always be there to ensure the safety of our website, but a security plugin will be. The Hide My WP security plugin is not just limited to anti-spam but has various other features that contribute to your website protection.
- It replaces the occurrences of the term “WordPress” so that hackers will not know that your website uses WordPress.
- It can hide common paths like /wp-admin or /wp-login.php.
- You can hide the default login page by setting up a custom login page/URL or adding a key to the login URL.
- It has a firewall that blocks cyberattacks like SQL, XSS, CSRF, Command Injection, and many more.
- It allows you to hide the default ajax path.
- You can change anything like text or URLs in your source code.
- It lets you choose from 3 levels of security that best suits your website.
Bots spamming your website is inevitable if you use contact forms to interact with your site visitors. While avoiding contact forms seems like a simple solution, it can be unavoidable if you run a business website. But it also means that you have to tighten your website security to prevent spam entries on your website.
Some of the best solutions to dodge this obstacle is by
- implementing reCAPTCHA,
- blocking harmful IP addresses,
- disabling right-click feature,
- using anti-spam WordPress security plugins like the Hide My WP.
Also Read: How To Monitor User Activity In WordPress – Security Audit Logs