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Why do I get spam or blank enquiries from my website

If you’ve got an online form (like a contact form), and your site is a bit old (or your web developer is plain slack), and you’ve been receiving “blank” or “spam” enquiries through this form continue reading ...

Why do I receive blank enquiries?

Most likely there is no “validation” on the form.  This means that someone can simply hit submit, without filling out anything in the form.

Why would a user not want to fill out their details?

The majority of these “blank” enquiries aren’t users submitting.  Rather it is an automated program visiting your site to catalogue content (some of these programs are malicious, and are “scanning” your site for vulnerabilities).

Why are some of the enquiries filled with random text?

Again this is an automated program, submitting your form with useless information, to see what content is on the next page.  This could also be an attempt to see if this form can be compromised.

The enquiries aren’t blank, but the content of the enquiries are spam.

Again these are automated programs, submitting “spam” through your form.  Poor “validation” on these forms (e.g. not checking formatting of fields) can lead to more spam being allowed through.

What do I do?

You need to install a “humanity” check (also known as a “CAPTCHA”).  A humanity check used to normally consist of a series of jumbled words or letters.  However the Google "I am not a robot" captcha is more commonly used.