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Secrets to Secure Forms

There are different ways to provide a method of contacting you through your website.  Online forms are one of the most popular methods of contact. An online form contains fields where information is entered and then submitted and sent via email. Some of the older scripts that were written for this were unsecure and allowed spammers to exploit and use them to send spam to anyone.

More modern forms contain a number of measures to keep the forms safe and secure. Some of the keys to secure online forms include:

  • Hidden configuration file. Forms should hide sensitive data such as email addresses and file structures in a file that can't be viewed through a browser.
  • Field verification. Field verification prevents hackers and spammers from entering certain characters into fields that cause errors and allow online forms to be hacked. This verification is best done by a script on the server rather than using JavaScript code in the user's browser. JavaScript verification is easily bypassed by hackers who can simply disable JavaScript.
  • JavaScript field verification. While the JavaScript verification isn't a good method for preventing forms from being hacked, it does allow for more error-free data and prevents fields from being skipped.
  • CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA provides an image that can't be read by a bot or automated script but can be read by a real user. Requiring a CAPTCHA on an online form prevents most spam from being sent through the form.
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