Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Secure Your Surveys Against Unwanted Respondents

Secure Your Surveys Against Unwanted Respondents
Online security is a hot button topic right now. You might be wondering how you can secure your surveys against unwanted respondents.
Here’s a top ten list showing you many options, from question types to advanced security options, that you can use with your QuestionPro surveys!

Let’s Batten Down the Hatches!

  1.  Use a Captcha question. The Captcha question is a standard way to keep bots from completing your surveys. If the text entered doesn’t match the image shown, the survey simply cannot continue.
  2.  Ask for a signature. By adding a signature question, and making it required, this also keeps bots from accessing your survey. If nothing is entered, the survey cannot continue forward. If you’re using the signature at the end of the survey, then the survey cannot be submitted.
  3.  Use a password. You can use a global password, or you can set up: email and password; username and password; participant ID; or password with the email address detected automatically. Each of these is easy to set up and authenticates users based on a combination of information you have entered and information they have to enter to access the survey. When the information they enter matches the information you’ve uploaded in a look-up list, they can take the survey.
  4.  Authenticate users by only allowing those who have received an email invitation to take your survey. Using the email invite only authentication means if you haven’t directly sent the respondent an invitation, they can’t take the survey. While this limits responses that can come from people forwarding the invitation, it also adds a level of security to your survey. This is especially useful when you want to keep respondents to a select group of individuals.
  5.  Use the Facebook Connect option. Respondents have to log in using their Facebook account, or else they can’t access the survey.
  6.  Use Anti-Ballot Box Stuffing. While this might not keep bots or spammers from accessing your survey, it does keep those who would otherwise barrage you with answers from the same IP address from doing so. That means a bot from a single IP address wouldn’t be able to answer your survey more than once.
  7.  Enable SSL Security. Enabling SSL Security simply updates the URL to https instead of http. This might seem light, but it adds a level of protection to the data being sent through the survey by keeping it from being read by a third party.
  8.  Use SAML Assertion Single Sign-On. This is a type of advanced security that allows you to use a method of single sign-on (eg by being logged in to your corporate intranet you would automatically be logged in to QuestionPro).
  9.  Use HMAC-SHA1 Security. This is a different type of advanced security that passes the security parameters via the survey URL and authenticates against a list of private keys and authentication codes generated by the server when the private key is passed through.
  10. Use DES Encrypted Variables. This is another advanced security option that requires some coding and a decryption key that you would enter.
Implementing these security measures can help keep your surveys and data safe and help avoid customer survey scams!
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