Spam-Free Contact Forms
If you have a business Web site, then obviously you need some way for potential customers to contact you. Contact forms are one of the most popular ways to do this because they're fast, easy to use, and allow you to specify the information you want from your customers.
The problem is that contact forms are also a target for spambots (robots whose only purpose in life is to scour the Internet for contact forms, and use them to spam the recipients). Go ahead and try it: Put an ordinary contact form on your site, and see what happens after a few weeks. You'll be deluged with every manner of spam that there is.
No worries, though. I have a solution.
Spam-Filtered Contact Forms
After several years of testing, I've come up with a system that traps more than 99.9 percent of spambots, and yet has a very low false-positive rate of well under 1 percent, where "false positive" is defined as mistakenly identifying a human as a robot. My forms are based on proprietary scripts that look for behavioral differences between humans and robots, and make their decision silently, so the spambot won't even know it's been caught.
How does it work?
When a message is identified as spammy, it's handled in the way you specify when the script is installed. You have three choices: Messages identified as spam can be silently deleted, sent to an alternate email address, or sent to your primary email address with the subject line modified to identify the message as spam. Most people choose to silently delete spam messages because there are very few or no false positives.
How does your system identify spam messages?
Frankly, that's a secret. I spent years developing these scripts, and I'm not going to tell the whole world (and especially the spammers) how they work. But I'll tell you what my system is not. My anti-spam contact form filtering system is different from all others in the following ways:
- My spam-free contact forms don't ask users to read and re-type "Captcha" images (those little squiggly letters that are hard to read).
- My system doesn't ask users stupid questions or have them do math problems.
- My system doesn't ask users to identify cats, dogs, or any other animals.
- My spam-filtering system doesn't rely solely on blacklists.
- My forms do very little content filtering. They rely mainly on behavioral differences; so misspelling the word "Viagra" won't fool my filters.
- My system is designed primarily to filter out robot-submitted spam, which accounts for the overwhelming bulk of contact form spam. In order to prevent false positives, human-submitted spam is subjected to fewer tests, and once in a while, a spammy message sent by a human might get through. But human-submitted spam is a very tiny percentage of overall spam, so that's really nothing to worry about.
I can add a spam-filtered contact form to almost any Web site, but the exact means by which this is done varies according to how the site was built. Sometimes the easiest way is to install the form on your site, but sometimes it's more efficient to create your contact form on my server and link it from your site. Every situation is different. But in all cases, the actual filtering is done by scripts installed on my redundant, fault-tolerant, high-availability cloud servers.
For more information (and to see a real-live example of my spam-free contact forms at work), please contact me.