It’s true that cybercriminals are getting more resourceful, and they’re using online forms to break in and steal sensitive data. You can even research easy ways to hack websites in this day and age. In this post we’ll touch on a few simple steps to help you practice good cybersecurity to keep your data as secure as possible.
1. Use CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart)
If you have ever completed any sort of online form or submitted a comment to blog post, chances are you’re already familiar with challenge-response systems (aka CAPTCHA).
CAPTCHA helps websites differentiate submitted information between humans and bots. The ultimate goal for CAPTCHA is to eliminate malicious form field injections that come from bad bots and website hackers. The simple test requires the user to type in letters or characters to verify that they aren’t a bot. Solving math equations, selecting images of cars or store fronts, and entering a phrase match are some of the most common test online today. They are effective because most requested inputs can only be answered (or “solved”) by human review in real time.
In general, bots typically can’t crawl and understand what is displayed in a CAPTCHA test, which helps block them from accessing your website.
Google launched reCAPTCHA v3 last year that uses adaptive risk analysis. The engineers from Google explain that the algorithm behind the challenge-response system utilizes a mix of traffic patterns, cookies, browser attributes and other factors. Google created it because of the difficulty people can have inputting numbers and characters correctly required by CAPTCHA systems. Instead of entering data, the user simply clicks a checkbox to inform Google they are not a robot.
CAPTCHA is one of the best tools you can use to secure contact forms right now. In the future, though, the testing system is likely to become automatically embedded into browsers and cookie settings on the backend and would be able to track potential threat patterns much more seamlessly. Of course, you could then always buy a VPN (virtual private network) license for privacy if you don’t want your searches to be so easily tracked and monitored.
Another good tactic for security is to input validation limits on what can be entered into a form field. The HTML <input> tag is used to specify minimum and maximum values for a respective input field in a form.
For example, if you have a contact form that prompts you to enter an email address as an input field, the tag should limit it to an “@” symbol along with letters in the response. If your input field asks for a phone number, the characters entered should then be limited to numbers, hyphens, and parentheses.
The input tag prevents malicious scripts from being injected into your form fields, which blocks hackers from breaking into your website and stealing sensitive data.
An SSL is a standard security measure that keeps data secure as it passes between web servers. If you are collecting any data on your website (emails, credit cards, etc), you need an SSL certificate. The technology encrypts the data you are collecting as it moves from your website to the server. If a cybercriminal were to find a way to intercept this data in transit, an SSL makes it nearly impossible for them to extract the data.
The Secure Sockets Layer can be seen on website URLs that begin with “https” as opposed to “http.” They will also display a padlock icon that appears next to the URL.
A Few Additional Tips
● Implement a web application firewall to monitor all website traffic that will automatically block bad bots and harmful threats
● Use trustworthy plugins from your hosting provider that are reputable for security
● Invest in a comment blacklist software that will prevent malicious IP addresses from being able to access your website
Here you can discover more insights on the latest trends in cyber technology.