You create a website, add a form, and wait for customers to write to you.
But then, instead of customers you start getting spam submissions about drugs, marketing, investments and other irrelevant things.
This can become so bad that you start missing actual customers' submissions because they hide between all those annoying spam submissions.
So, how to effectively block spam submissions from ever arriving into my inbox?
Filter by email/IP-address
Luckily for you, Form-Data is using one of the best spam filtering services in the market - CleanTalk. It works automatically out of the box, and you don't have to do anything to enable it. It works by checking the ip-address and email-address in each submission against a database of known spam bots.
This filter is very effective and blocks over 95% of spam submissions. If you happen to be suffer from the remaining 5%, read on.
By validating that submissions come from your website you can reduce the chances of fraud and impersonation. This will eliminate your form from being embedded in other websites, and then sending submissions over to you.
Filter by countries
If you run a local business and expect submissions only from a certain country, you can filter out submissions from other countries.
Be cautious with the option "allow only the following countries" - some people or companies use VPN, which means that their connection may appear as if it's not from their actual country.
We recommend using the option to "filter out the following countries" if you consistently get spam messages from specific countries
Don't forget to enable the toggle to make this work
Filter by content
Sometimes specific spammers keep sending the same message over and over which can be really annoying.
To overcome this, you can use the content filter:
Let's say your contact form has name, email and message fields. You keep getting a submission that contains the text "grow up your money really fast" in the message field.
You can filter these messages out by adding a rule as can be seen above, and click the Add button.
Don't forget to enable the content filter toggle.
Note that you can add multiple rules.
This is simple yet effective method against non-sophisticated spammers. You add a field to the form, and hide it using style. 90% of spam-bot scripts will fill this field, and 100% of real-people will not. This allows us to very effectively tell between bots and human.
What about google reCAPTCHA?
We're dropping support in Google reCAPTCHA because on one hand it can be bypassed, while on the other hand it adds user friction and/or it's hard to tune correctly.
If you want to read the full details, please read here