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Spam Protection

Freeform includes its own Javascript-based honeypot spam protection. This is enabled by default, but can be disabled in the Freeform Settings.

  • Each time a form is loaded, it stores a unique honeypot per session, which has a timestamp, unique name and unique hash value.
    • Both name and hash must match to successfully submit the form or advance to the next page.
    • A user is allowed 100 honeypot values per user session (highly unnecessary but in case your site has a form in a common place like a footer, etc it'll help prevent unwanted blocking of legitimate users).
    • Honeypots are stored in the session for 3 hours, and then are removed.
      • Because this uses the session, this limit is also dependent on the server configuration for session.gc_maxlifetime() in php.ini. Typically the default might be 1440 seconds (24 minutes), but it's possible the default has been altered to something else.
  • When the form opens, the value is wrong by default, and then javascript swaps in the correct value.
    • If the submission fails the honeypot test, the form will appear to submit successfully, but will not store the data. An error is not displayed so as not to give away the spam controls.
  • The honeypot is not a hidden field, but is positioned absolutely with height 0 and width 0, so the field is not visible.
  • This spam protection method requires javascript be enabled for the user's browser, otherwise it will fail.
    • Freeform will automatically insert javascript in the footer of the page. If you prefer to have this load inside the <form></form> tags (for purposes of caching, etc), you can disable the Include Freeform Scripts in the Page Footer setting.

If you wish to use reCAPTCHA for your forms (Pro edition), enable the reCAPTCHA setting and fill in the reCAPTCHA Site Key and Secret Key. To add reCAPTCHA to your forms, open up and edit each form and drag over the reCAPTCHA special field anywhere you like into your form layout.