5 Ways to Build a Secure Web Form for Your Website
Posted on February 15, 2023
In the digital world, creating secure web forms for your website is essential for protecting sensitive customer data. This article provides five ways to create a reliable and safe web form that meets industry standards, protects your customers from data breaches, and offers a smoother user experience.
Before you can start creating the form, the first step is to assess the potential security risk your form will be exposed to. It helps you understand what level of protection it needs – and how much time and effort you should invest in making it more secure. Your form’s risk level depends on factors like what kind of information it collects, who is allowed to access it, how sensitive the data is, and how long it will be stored. Make sure you consider all these factors before designing your web form.
Consider SSL Encryption for Your Web Forms
SSL encryption is necessary if you want to build a secure web form. It’s an encryption protocol that provides security for data transmitted between a client (the user’s browser) and a server (your website). By employing SSL encryption, you can ensure that the information you receive from your users will be kept safe and secure.
SSL encrypts the data sent from the website to the user’s browser. This means that any sensitive information is encrypted and won’t be visible in plain text when transmitted. Additionally, an SSL-encrypted website will typically display a green lock icon near the URL bar, reassuring visitors that the website is secure when they submit their data. Therefore, if you intend to collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from your users, such as IDs, Social Security Numbers, and Passports, make sure to consider SSL encryption for added protection.
Along with the 256-bit SSL encryption, you can choose to encrypt your data at rest on 123FormBuilder. Turning on data encryption adds a second layer of security to your forms and submissions, protecting your data and customer privacy.
Additionally, basic web form security measures such as Captcha or two-factor authentication will protect your data. Captcha helps to prevent bots from submitting automated form submissions. At the same time, two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection by requiring users to provide a one-time password (OTP) after they have submitted their credentials. By combining the various security features, you can create a secure web form that will ensure all data received is kept safe and secure.
Implement Data Validation Strategies
Field validation is helpful as it lets you gather accurate data only in the format that meets your requirements. It can be done through built-in guidelines for the user, comprehensive instructions, or format requirements (such as email address and phone number formats). You can also implement input masks that automatically format entered data.
Implementing proper data validation strategies helps increase website security and protect users and their sensitive data. Additionally, secure web forms should include data sanitation techniques to reduce or eliminate unintended risks. For example, you can use security filters to strip out or limit the type of special characters entered in fields like emails and names.
Set Access Controls on Submitted Data
Developing a secure system for storing data is also an important step. You’ll want to set access controls on the submitted data to restrict who can view, edit or delete it. This action limits your risk of exposure and damage should an unauthorized user gain access to the system. Using hashes with salting and encryption components can ensure that passwords and other sensitive information remain secure.
Suppose you’re using a form builder like 123FromBuilder. In that case, you’ll find that we host our data on AWS (Amazon Web Services) and store all information in data centers across the United States and the European Union on a 256-bit SSL connection. All servers are scanned daily by AWS and McAfee Security, thus preventing any security threats.
Implementing a web application firewall (WAF) to filter out malicious requests is also a practical security step. The WAF will block any suspicious activity, such as SQL injections, referenced arguments, or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. That way, your web forms, and data remain safe and secure.
Finally, you can enable two-factor authentication or log in via third-party accounts like Google or Facebook on top of the username and password validation to add an extra layer of protection. By taking these steps, you can develop a secure web form and protect the submitted data.
Create Secure URLs for Web Forms
When submitting forms to a website, malicious agents can use the URL to attack the page. Creating secure URLs for your web forms means malicious agents cannot access them since they are protected from suspicious activities. This allows you to create randomized strings that are added to the form URLs, making it difficult for attackers to guess them. You’ll want to use security tokens called CSRF or Cross-Site Request Forgery protection to do this.
The process of creating secure URLs is relatively straightforward. First, you must generate a CSRF token, a random string that you need to include in each form URL. Next, you create the URL and add the CSRF string. Once the URL has been created, the forms will be enabled with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which will store the information in an encrypted format making it difficult for hackers or malicious agents to break through.
Utilizing SSL also verifies that the page is authentic and not created by another website to gather information from unsuspecting users. With secure URLs and SSL, your web forms can more securely transmit data over the internet without fear of being hijacked.
Use CAPTCHA or Other Security Measures
CAPTCHA, or Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart, is a popular security measure used by websites to help protect their forms from malicious agents. CAPTCHA adds extra layers of security to your forms by displaying text that only users can recognize before they are allowed to access the form.
In addition to CAPTCHA, implement other measures such as enabling SSL/HTTPS on the form page and using strong passwords. You should also ensure that your website and web forms are up to date to prevent potential vulnerabilities or malware. Adding reCAPTCHA can also help protect your web forms against bot attacks, improving the overall security of your online form. Lastly, always make sure to log out after finishing work on the form to avoid any unauthorized access from any unknown sources.
The great thing about 123FormBuilder’s web forms is that they have the security measures we built into how they function. And if they’re not, you can add them as necessary, along with many other advanced security features.
No matter where you publish your online form, you have various options to secure it from external threats. 123FormBuilder can help you protect your forms in multiple ways: Captcha images, IP blocking, country filter, or even password protection. Limit your submissions by IP or country, or add a password to your form to keep spammers at bay. To ensure no robots will submit your form, add a verification number (Smart Captcha).