Customers Are Human. Why Even Ask?
You know you hate them, too. CAPTCHAs. Those squiggly letters, "security codes"
or "word verification" tests that many Web sites demand you solve before being
allowed to register, sign-up, join, subscribe, or just ask a question on a Web
We understand the dilemma. Web form abuse is a huge, expensive and wildly
annoying issue for Web site owners. But asking customers to prove their humanity
before communicating with a company takes a “guilty until proven innocent”
approach that just doesn’t sit well with us (or most other folks either). It’s
why we started researching form spam and abuse in the first place.
CAPTCHAs attempt to distinguish humans from automated computer bots, and
theoretically avoid spam submissions. (It doesn’t work very well, but more on
that in minute.) In reality though, the message it sends to customers is: “Prove
you’re not a spammer and we might be interested in communicating with you.”
Prove I’m not a criminal? Can you imagine if we put a similar burden on customers
for every credit card transaction online?
“Please answer these five questions, provide your mother’s maiden name and
give us your first-born child. If we decide you’ve answered everything correctly
(which we probably won't) you may pay for our $12 online Widgets.”
Ridiculous! Online payment models verify transactions outside the customer’s
view, and keep the dirty boring details of security monitoring from being the
customer’s problem. Shouldn’t Web form security be handled the same way?
We think so. With 10 years of research behind us, Form Armor™ does exactly that.
We Stop Form Spam So Your Customers Don't Have To
Form Armor is a subscription Web service that prevents spam and other abusive
submissions sent through Web site forms. Our proprietary technology handles spam
detection "behind the scenes" where it doesn’t interfere with usability,
accessibility or conversion rates for your Web site.
That means your customers (or leads, or users, or subscribers, whatever you
happen to call them) can reach you online without all the hassle and
Isn’t that a nicer way to start and build a relationship?
As Many As 1 In 10 Customers Never Solve CAPTCHAs
In a 2008 study by the University of Washington, researchers found about 10% of
users failed to solve any of CAPTCHAs presented – even after three attempts.
When faced with a CAPTCHA problem, many customers give up and go away.
Is this the type of customer experience you want to create for your Web site?
What impact would it have for your business to see 10% more of your Web forms
Spammers Don’t Rely on Bots Anymore Anyway
The reality is that spammers are a persistent bunch and you can’t “prevent” them
from doing what they do best. I don't care what kind of obstacles you put in the
way – no matter if it's CAPTCHA methods, math problems, or mouse clicks –
spammers are going to find a way to keep submitting to Web site forms.
Computer science has developed to the point that many CAPTCHA images can be
solved correctly by other computers. As quickly as “new and improved” CAPTCHA
methods are created, spammers quickly adapt and defeat them. What adds insult to
injury is the fact that it isn’t just automated bots anymore either.
Security researchers have documented a growing trend of human spam sweatshops –
where workers are paid pennies to manually solve CAPTCHAs. (I believe the going
rate is around 80-cents per 1,000 CAPTCHAs solved.)
If humans are sending the spam, what’s the point of using CAPTCHAs to distinguish
between computers and humans anyway?
Why You Can't Tough It Out for Customer Service
Even if you’re on board with the CAPTCHA rants, that doesn’t solve the problem of
what to do about Web form spam. On average, 77% of Web form submissions are
spam. Junk. Garbage. Useless.
Spam sent through Web site forms is especially insidious because it can’t be
managed with traditional email filters. If form results are emailed, you're
sending emails from your own Web site to yourself. That’s not exactly something
you can add to the email filter. The only option is to open every message and
see what's what – knowing that 3 out of 4 will be a waste of your time.
If you're capturing form results in a database, forget it. Junk records galore
and pretty soon those nice subscriber counts and lead generation reports that
you review every week are an inaccurate mess.
Last year companies large and small reported spending an average of 10.83 hours
every month dealing with spam sent through Web site forms. If your staff
cost averages just $24 an hour, that translates to $3,119 and 130 hours a year
just dealing with Web form abuse.
Form Armor Rides to the Rescue
The good news is that just like with your email accounts, you can automate the
process of spam detection for Web forms – and make your customers happier in the
Form Armor's algorithms analyze form submissions in real-time and accurately
identify every entry as good, bad or ugly. (Corny, yes. But we like Clint
The good stuff gets through to you, and the bad and the ugly stuff gets rejected
so it won't clutter up your inbox or database. It all happens within a few
milliseconds so the only thing your customers notice is an easy experience on
your Web site form.
We’ve put a lot of thought and care into creating a Web form security solution
that’s easy for your customers and easy for you, too.
- Reliable real-time form processing means you see valid entries right away and
the spam and other abusive entries get the boot.
- Customers no longer bear the brunt of Web form security tasks, and there’s no
need for security codes, CAPTCHA word puzzles, math problems, image-recognition
or other "are you human?" tests that interfere with a great customer experience.
- Finely-tuned and extremely accurate detection algorithms identify both automated
bots and human-generated spam. Even if folks halfway around the world are
slaving for pennies over your Web forms, you don’t have to deal with the spam
- Form Armor protects your site against more than just spam, too. We also monitor
for other abusive and malicious submissions like worms, Trojans, viruses and
injection attacks. (Those count as ugly.)
- As a hosted service, we handle the security updates – so you don’t have to worry
when the spammers change tactics or a new automated bot is unleashed.
- There are no software plug-ins or libraries to install, and Form Armor works
with any Web site, browser, server platform, or programming language. If you
have a Web site (or heck any Web-enabled application) Form Armor will work for
your Web forms work. You choose which accessibility guidelines to meet and how
standards-compliant code is rendered on your form.
- Setup is fast and easy. We offer an API with support for ASP,
ASP.NET and PHP, plus an ASP.NET Web Service for Visual Studio. (Setup with the API usually takes about half an hour. Even less time with the Web Service.)
Guaranteed Privacy and Security for Your Data
Right about now when you're thinking "Wow!" a lot of people also go "Whoa!" and
start wondering about sending all of their form data through a third-party
service. We get it.
That's why we built Form Armor with the same type of security measures that are
used for online banking and credit card payments. When a form is submitted on
your Web site, that data is transmitted to our servers with 128-bit encryption,
analyzed in real-time by Form Armor's technology, and then lickety-split we have
a response of "go" or "no go."
After 10 years of research, we’ve perfected algorithms
that are amazingly accurate and highly specific to the idiosyncrasies of Web
How Do I Know You’re Not Mistaking Good Stuff for Bad?
Some people ask that, too. Chances are if you wanted to review every submission
sent through your forms, to confirm if it was spam or not, you wouldn't have
kept reading this far down the page.
The vast majority of our clients use Form Armor's automated detection to capture the good stuff and get on with business, and then just ditch the bad and ugly stuff into the void.
But maybe you just don’t quite trust how we determine what’s what, or you want
(or need) more control over how form data is handled. If that’s the case, you can use Form
Armor's real-time response to decide programmatically how to handle the
good vs. bad or ugly entries.
Try It and See for Yourself
We can tell you all day long about how great Form Armor is, but the best way to
see the benefit is to give it a try and see for yourself.
If you sign up today, by tomorrow you could:
- Spend less time reviewing Web form spam and more time growing your business
- Remove obstacles that discourage customers from contacting you online
- Close sales faster by including only relevant Web leads in your sales pipeline
- See higher Web form conversion rates – and an immediate 10% improvement over
CAPTCHA enabled forms
Try Form Armor today and stop spam and abusive
submissions on your Web forms.