Preventing spam through contact forms (Formmail)

Discussion in 'Web Design and Hosting' started by Vishal P. Rao, May 8, 2006.

  1. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    I had been searching for a long long time for scripts that major sites have installed to prevent form spamming - those "enter the code" you see in image types. Finally I found it and installed on my sites, phew!

    The problem actually was the keyword to use to search for such scripts. After much browsing, I found that they are called "Captcha Scripts".

    Although there are not much free good ones, the one that impressed me most was at :

    http://www.phpcaptcha.org/

    It's pretty simple to use (with little programming knowledge of course) but your web host should be able to support the features used by it.
     
  2. eclair

    eclair New Member

    Someone told me before about Bayesian filters but I don't know how to program so on my blog I just use trackback verification and akismet. There's also the captcha thing [​IMG]

    It usually takes a combination of these solutions to lessen the spamming.
     
  3. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Bayesian filters are applied at the server side to eliminate possible spams, just like SpamAssassin. I'm usually not comfortable with any of those as there is very high likelihood of legitimate emails getting blocked.
     
  4. eclair

    eclair New Member

    Ah. If that is the case then, yes, it is not advisable then.
     
  5. WhitePhoenix

    WhitePhoenix New Member

    Hey Vishal,

    Very good investigative skills! And thanks for sharing - I have wondered about those myself - but I have a question. Where would you insert the code for such a thing? Can it only be used on forms? Can you use it on a message board?
     
  6. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Quoting: WhitePhoenixWhere would you insert the code for such a thing? Can it only be used on forms? Can you use it on a message board?

    Denise, you need to do some modifications in the script that uses to parse your form. You need to have some programming knowledge to do it yourself, else you can hire a programmer to do it for you.

    You can also put it on message boards but that will not defeat spamming because message board are spammed by real persons than bots (automated scripts). So these spammers can very well insert that 5 letter codes and spam.

    The main reason for installing such codes is to prevent automated filling of your forms and even hijacking them to send mass emails.
     
  7. WhitePhoenix

    WhitePhoenix New Member

    Ahh, thanks for clarifying that. I guess that to discourage spamming one must continually check forums and message boards and then delete the unwanted spam messages...

    So, is hijacking a major problem? Have you ever had your Formmail hijacked?
     
  8. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, I had my form script hijacked once for spamming purpose. It was then immediately disabled by my web hosts. They later told me to use cgiemail instead. The only problem with it like other formmail scripts was automated submission by bots. I just now have to wait and see how this new image validation system delivers.
     
  9. cupbucket

    cupbucket New Member

    Nice I think I will try this
     
  10. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

  11. chubzyko

    chubzyko New Member

    yey! Hi Vishal! it's me the guy who email you and asked for help about your php mail form thingy that I cannot make to work.
     
  12. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    chubzyko: yey! Hi Vishal! it's me the guy who email you and asked for help about your php mail form thingy that I cannot make to work.
    I've replied to your mail.
     
  13. joialoura

    joialoura New Member

    Hi.
    I have checked your contact form. Is it possible to make it works wieh html websites...?? In other words..How do I insert the form into my index page?
    Appreciate your help
     
  14. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Although I haven't tried it, you can try including the form through Inline Frames ().
     

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