Use CAPTCHA or not. What happens if a form gets spammed?

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    Asked on April 20, 2011 at 11:00 PM


    I am hesitant to include CAPTCHA on my forms because some may think that after the word is typed, that they are to click the 'curved arrow' to 'enter' the word rather than type the word and leave it be (then submit).  If the arrow is hit, it generates another word.  I am concerned they will continually hit the arrow and/or perhaps leave it blank.  And what if CAPTCHA is wrong and no other attempts?  Does the form register that as an incorrect submission (either 1. first incorrect CAPTCHA and/or leaving it blank) thereby giving it a 'pending' status?  (read other forum posts of this happening and not being able to view/even be aware of a pending submission I couldn't see due to a wrong CAPTCHA.  I can't afford to miss any submissions due to this type of customer error).

    Also what happens if a form gets spammed by not using CAPTCHA and how to correct it?  Would cloning and replacing a form solve the spamming once it's occurred?

    Seems like a toss up...customer error and chancing not receiving a form; or getting spammed.

    Thank you!

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    Answered on April 21, 2011 at 12:53 AM


    The purpose of the captcha is to eliminate spam bots from posting on your form.

    When you say clicking the arrow, do you mean that the one that circulates?  The purpose of that arrow is to reload the captcha if it's unreadable for the user of your form.  it only changes the word inside the captcha, nothing  more.

    There is also a field label if you want to make detailed instructions on what to do with the capcha like saying "enter the message as is shown in the text field provided and press the submit button. Click the arrow button if the captcha does not load or unreadable".

    If you do not fill the captcha field, it will not submit. The captcha field will simply repeat over and over until the user has correctly entered what is shown in the image.  This does not go to the pending status as well unless you're using forms for payment. 

    A pending status means that the form gets redirected to the payment gateway and is about to complete payment. The form then stands by for the mean time until the payment gets completed and the payment gateway tells jotform that it has been done.  Then the form tags the pending submission as a completed submission.

    Cloning a form does not solve the spam problem.  These bots will still enter random characters in the fields in your form.  This is why captcha was developed.  When your form gets spammed, you will continuously receive submissions from these bots until your form gets suspended due to overlimit.  We still encourage for you to use captcha to prevent this from happening next time.

    Hope this helps.

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    Answered on April 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM
    Thanks for your reply.
    If I add CAPTCHA to the forms, do I have to delete/add the
    notification/confirmation emails? Or are they not affected? Of course I
    will have to delete/add existing forms onto my site.
    Thank you
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    Answered on April 21, 2011 at 01:49 PM


    There is no need to recreate the existing notification emails as they will be automatically updated whenever there is a change made on your form. But just to be sure, as sometimes browsers do not do their job properly, you may want to double check your notification emails to see if changes are reflected promptly.

    Hope this clears your worries.