Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Okay, so how do you keep spam out of Google Forms?

Scraping off the serial numbers (since this is a project that's still kind of nascent, and I don't want to get distracted by the details) -- a bunch of us are trying to build a fairly simplistic database. It's near trivial from a schema point of view, needs to be easily accessible from the Web and easy to input data from mobile, and we don't want to spend a lot of time on implementation and maintenance. The solution that was proposed (and prototyped) is built on Google Forms, and that looks like it's probably good enough for our relatively simple needs.

I have just one concern. This thing is supposed to be long-lived, and we want a substantial number of people to be able to add to it, so we would rather not have explicit access controls required in order to submit new entries. That is, we'd like it to be publicly writeable. But I know from bitter experience that publicly writeable forms tend to eventually get savaged by the spammers.

So the question is, how is Google Forms in this regard? Does it have *any* sort of spam protection, even basics like captchas? There is of course the possibility of security through obscurity, but that tends to only work for a while; in the DB that is intended to live on for a number of years, it seems like the probability of being attacked by a spambot gets kind of severe.

Informed suggestions solicited. I'm hoping that there are already some best practices on this topic -- Google Forms is well-enough established that I would expect that we're not the first to worry aboout this...
Tags: technology

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