Spam email is unsolicited and unwanted junk email sent out in bulk. It is typically sent for commercial purposes, and bots – programs that automatically go through millions of websites on their own – can take advantage of the fact your website has contact forms to “fill them out” and submit them. As the website owner, you’ll be the one receiving the emails generated by those submissions, which can be annoying. It’s important to note that receiving spam from a form on your website doesn’t mean that your website has been “hacked” in any way.
CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, and its main function is to determine whether it is a bot or a human being that’s filling out the form. We used Google reCAPTCHA v2 in the past, in conjunction with a technique called honeypot protection, to prevent bots (programs used by spammers) from submitting unsolicited forms. However, spammers are constantly catching up, so we have just implemented the latest version of Google reCAPTCHA in all our websites.
We take care of anti-spam for you
Here at Your Web Department we take spamming seriously, and strive to make the experience of having a business website as smooth as possible for our clients. So we have updated all our clients’ forms to Google reCAPTCHA v3, the latest version. Your form will now display a badge, indicating it’s secure. If you have website built and hosted by us, you don’t need to do anything – we took care of everything for you.
Tweaking your reCAPTCHA settings
Unlike previous versions of reCAPTCHA, v3 doesn’t require visitors to check a box before submitting a form. Instead, it uses Artificial Intelligence and works behind the scenes to determine whether it’s a legitimate interaction. While there’s no way to prevent an actual person from filling out forms with unsolicited information and submitting them, reCAPTCHA v3 is quite effective at preventing bots from doing so.
reCAPTCHA v3 offers and additional advantage: it lets you, the website Admin, customize its settings for each form based on how “stringent” you would like it be. It will rank traffic and interactions based on a score of 0.0 to 1.0, with a 1.0 being a good interaction and scores closer to 0.0 indicating a good likelihood that the traffic was generated by bots. We have been monitoring the reCAPTCHA interactions of our clients’ forms, and the vast majority obtains a score of 0.9 or more (below). Therefore the default 0.5 it uses is fine, and that’s how we typically set up our clients’ forms.
However, if you would like to increase the threshold a bit to 0.7 for instance (if you’re still receiving lots of spam) or decrease it all the way to 0.2 or less (if for some reason the reCAPTCHA is failing your visitors often) then it’s an easy change, which you can do yourself: go to Forminator Pro > Forms, edit the form, click the reCAPTCHA field and change the threshold as desired. Or ask us and we can do that for you.