We build websites for business in Connecticut and many other locations. A recently launched website has started to get form spam, which is an unfortunate fact of life if you want to make it easy for visitors to fill in forms (i.e. no CAPTCHA). Seeing it come in, (Yes, we monitor our forms for spam so business owners can be alerted to activity and what it means), I alerted the owner that this was just spam and could be ignored. A bot had spammed his form and it was not a particularly concerning event.
In response he asked me “what is a bot”.
Here’s what I wrote back:
A bot is like a search engine spider, it is software that visits web pages for various purposes. With search engines, they view pages, download their content and index them to become available in search engines.
In this case, form bots fill in info to see what happens. For example, some forms send the visitor an auto-reply telling them their request was received. If forms do that, then a bot, or robot, can use them to send spam to people using your website. Your form doesn’t do this for precisely that reason.