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Posts Tagged ‘secure web form’

Online Form Design Best Practices

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Most businesses and organizations today use online forms to collect customer information. The same applies to healthcare companies. But, healthcare companies need to abide by stringent regulations concerning PHI or Protected Health Information under HIPAA.

So, it is of the utmost importance for such organizations to follow certain best practices when designing these forms. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Security

First and foremost, the data that is filled into the form must be secured when being transmitted, processed and stored. One way to do that is via encryption. Encryption secures form data by making it unreadable to those who do not have the access. This typically includes the browser and server.

SSL is one of the encryption options you can consider. It stands for Secure Sockets Layer and it’s basically a type of security protocol that secures the connection between sender and receiver. So, when data is transmitted, only the sender and receiver will have access to it. No third party can intercept and retrieve the data.

So, SSL encryption allows you to secure the submitted data during transmission.

You can make the data even more secure by adding an authentication layer. What that means is that only people who are authorized to view the data will be able to do so. This can go a long way in preventing unauthorized access.

Protect Yourself from Bots

Bots are automated programs that go poking around the Internet, looking for information, looking for system vulnerabilities, and looking for ways to send spam, among other things.  It is extremely common for such bots to automatically fill out and submit online forms … often with garbage or with spam.

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6 ways to improve your web site forms

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Web site forms are ubiquitous. Every site needs them to engage their visitors, collect information, makes sales, etc. They are easy to add to your site, but not necessarily easy to do right.

There are plenty of free or cheap tools for creating web forms, but these tools may cause serious issues:

  • Incomplete Forms: Users submitting incomplete forms (e.g. not filling out all of the important fields)
  • Invalid Inputs: Users not entering the “right” information (e.g. not actually putting an email address in the email address field)
  • Form Spam Bots: Automated programs may fill out and submit your forms … sending you junk in the form of gibberish or web site URLs they hope you will visit and buy stuff from.
  • Form Insecurity: If your form collects any kind of sensitive information, from passwords to medical data, it could easily be setup incorrectly and allow phishing attacks or data leakage.
  • Stale Forms: You updated your form, but someone just somehow submitted the old version which is not even on the Internet anymore!
  • Connectivity/Server Issues: You don’t want your users to give up because their network is down or your site is down for a few seconds.

All of these problems impact the success of your site — causing everything from annoyance to the inability to contact your sales leads to breaches of privacy. Fortunately, it is not hard to plug these gaps and have a solid, productive, and secure web form.

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