SPAM PROTECTION
GOOGLE RECAPTCHA


S06 | E10 | HOW TO MAKE A WEBSITE LIKE A PRO

Paul Davenport |  3 min read

Web School Series 6 Episode 9

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Whether your website is already receiving spam, or you wish to proactively prevent it, Google reCAPTCHA is the best in class, free, solution to keep malicious software from engaging in abusive activities on your website. Thankfully, your MOBLE website has an easy solution that allows you to turn on Google reCAPTCHA for your forms that need protection. In this article we assess 'why Google reCAPTCHA' and how to set it up.


THE HISTORY OF THE HONEYPOT

In days gone by MOBLE would advise clients to steer clear of captcha codes. These codes were a hindrance to your customers, who would often struggle to decipher the ambiguously formatted text within an obscure image. The code would be hidden in a poor quality image that would often require several attempts to successfully match the code in order to prove the enquiry was legit, and not from a malicious spam bot.

This approach sucked because it would invariably frustrate customers and impact on conversion rates.

As an alternative to captcha codes, MOBLE invented a honey pot technique where we would generate hidden fields in every form, that humans could not see. These might be fields like 'Country', 'State', 'Date of Birth' etc. A spam bot would not realise that these fields were hidden, and if they were completed, we would know that the submission was from a spam bot. We would then junk the enquiry and blacklist the offending IP address.

All this worked beautifully well until around November 2019 when we noticed the spam bots had started to work it out.

THE AGE OF GOOGLE RECAPTCHA

Luckily at this time we'd already integrated with Google reCAPTCHA. This integration would allow our clients to simply connect and protect individual forms as they wished. If a form was on the frontend, we'd advise turning it on, though, if it was on password protected pages, or such like, you could turn spam protection off.


DOES GOOGLE RECAPTCHA EFFECT MY CONVERSION RATES?

Unlike captcha codes, Google reCAPCHA has a simple "I'm not a robot" check box, which is effortless for a customer to tick prior to form submission. Therefore, conversion rates remain as high as possible.

DO I HAVE TO USE IT?

No, the decisions yours. MOBLE still have the honeypot technique running. Plus, in your Enquiries area, you can manually mark enquiries as Spam, and press Save. We will then blacklist the offending IP Address and you will be unlikely to get hit by this IP again.


HOW TO SET UP GOOGLE RECAPTCHA?

  1. Login with your to Google reCAPTCHA with your business gmail account (or create an account) and select V2 checkbox:
    https://www.google.com/recaptcha

  2. Each website requires its own 'Site Key' and 'Secret Key'.
    Create yours via the settings tab:
    https://www.google.com/u/1/recaptcha/admin/

    *IMPORTANT. WHEN SETTING UP, PLEASE ENSURE TO ADD YOUR DOMAIN (WEBSITE ADDRESS)*

  3. Copy the Site Key.
    Then, go to your MOBLE website.
    Go to the Global Settings Area found via the Main Menu.
    Notice the Google reCAPTCHA field, located via the Integrations tab.
    Paste your Site Key into the Google reCAPTCHA Site Key field.

  4. Go back to reCAPTCHA and copy the Secret Key.
    Then go back to your MOBLE website.
    Again, go to the Global Settings Area found via the Main Menu.
    Again, notice the Google reCAPTCHA field, located via the Integrations tab.
    Paste your Secret Key into the Google reCAPTCHA Secret Key field.

  5. Click Save at the top right of the page.
Google-reCAPTCHA-site-key-secret-key
MOBLE-Global-Settings-Area

HOW TO TURN ON GOOGLE RECAPTCHA FOR EACH FORM?

Now Google reCAPTCHA is set up on your website, you can turn it 'On' and 'Off' individually for every form:

  1. Go to the Forms area.
  2. Click the Settings tab next to each form that you would like to protect.
  3. Notice the reCAPTCHA switch at the bottom of the page (this only appears after you have set up Google reCAPTCHA in the steps above).
  4. To activate reCAPTCHA select 'Yes' and press Save.
MOBLE-Form-Settings-Turn-reCAPTCHA-on-and-off

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