Google reCaptcha has been a web standard for bot detection/prevention for some time. With that in mind, ShortStack provides it as a method you can use to prevent bots from submitting your entry forms or winning instant win prizes.
Rather than outright rejecting entries with lower reCaptcha scores — which can prevent legitimate entries as well as make it easier for bots to fine-tune their submissions to bypass reCaptcha — we have made it easier to accept entries with lower scores, but reject them for the instant win feature or when picking winners after the campaign is over.
To access the reCaptcha settings for your form:
- Open your campaign in the Campaign Builder.
- Find your Form Container Widget, and click the edit widget icon to open the widget settings.
- Open the Entry Restrictions section.
- On the right, in the Bot Prevention subsection, you'll see the enable Google reCaptcha checkbox - check the box to enable it.
- The Sensitivity Level slider will appear - use that to set your desired threshold.
Google reCaptcha Scores
Google reCaptcha provides a score between 0.0 and 1.0 for each form submission. A score of 1.0 indicates that the visitor poses a low risk and is very likely legitimate, whereas 0.0 indicates that the visitor poses a high risk and might be a bot or other fraudulent interaction.
If you're a developer and you'd like to get into the nitty-gritty of reCaptcha scoring, Google's Interpreting an assessment support doc has all the information you might need.
Sensitivity Level for Instant Win
Below the Sensitivity Level slider is a second slider specifically for the instant win feature. This setting specifies a minimum reCaptcha score required in order for an entry to be eligible for instant win. If you're running an instant win contest and the score is below the threshold set in that second slider, the entry will be an automatic loser. This setting only applies when the Sensitivity Level is less than the Sensitivity Level for Instant Win - if they are the same, the entry will get rejected if the score is below the threshold for both.
Filtering Entries by reCaptcha Score
If you'd like to filter entries you've received by reCaptcha score, that is an option available in the Entries Manager:
- Open your list in the Entries Manager.
- In the filtering options on the left side, open the Other section.
- In the reCaptcha score filter, use the ends of the slider to set a range of the lowest and highest scores.
- The entries that fall within that range will appear on the right.