Posts Tagged ‘secure form’

Protect the Confidentiality of Form Responses with Encrypted Email

FormSmarts Encrypted Email (S/MIME) allows you to protect the confidentiality of the data submitted through your forms, while keeping the convenience of receiving form responses by email.

Encrypted Email (S/MIME)

FormSmarts encrypted email uses asymmetric encryption (also known as public-key cryptography) to encrypt a message before it is sent in such a way that only the form recipient can decrypt it. The email message itself is encrypted, not just the connection used to deliver it to its destination.

With encrypted email, a form response is encrypted in FormSmarts' backend and only decrypted by the email app on your computer or phone.

FormSmarts secure email is based on the Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME), an Internet standard that is supported by most desktop and mobile email apps.

Should I Use Encrypted Email for My Forms?

Any form that collects personal identifiable information (PII) like Social Security Numbers, health or financial data should be a prime candidate for being delivered by encrypted email.

S/MIME encrypted email is often an alternative to Advanced Protection, which requires form recipients to log in to FormSmarts to access form responses.

How Does Encrypted Email Compare with Standard Email?

Encrypted Email Standard Email
Message Encrypted Not encrypted
Connection Encrypted Usually encrypted
Permanent Storage Encrypted (message is only decrypted in your inbox) May be encrypted

How Can I Start Using S/MIME Email?

All you need to start receiving form submissions by secure email are:

  1. An email software or app that supports S/MIME (most do)
  2. A S/MIME certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA), which you can get free from the CA listed here after verifying your email address

Send by Secure Email (S/MIME)

You then need to install the S/MIME certificate and register it with FormSmarts:

  1. Install the certificate on the devices where you want to access encrypted messages
  2. Send an email digitally signed with the certificate to FormSmarts from one of the devices where you've installed the certificate.
  3. Edit each of the forms you want to protect and toggle on Send by secure email (S/MIME) in the Submit Actions tab, as shown on the screenshot above.

Attach a File to a Form in a Click: File Upload Made Easy

With the new file upload feature, you can now let form users attach a picture or document to a form like in this demo.

Form with File Upload Field

Adding a file upload widget to your forms is as easy as adding a simple text box: visit the Fields Tab of the form builder, and create a new field choosing the File Upload widget. That’s all there is to it. Once a file has been uploaded and the form confirmed, that file will be stored on FormSmarts and available to you.

Customizing File Upload Fields

Although a file upload field created as just described will be fully functional, you may want to restrict the type of content the form will allow users to upload, as well as set the maximum file size permitted. You can also specify how long FormSmarts should keep uploaded documents on the server. To change these options, visit the Field Details screen of the form builder.

File Upload: Form Builder with File Attachment

Allowed Content Type

By default, a file upload field will accept all supported content types: documents (PDF, Word, Excel, RTF, OpenOffice ODF, and HTML documents) and images (JPEG, PNG, and GIF). You can restrict the type of content the form will allow users to upload to either documents or images. For example, if you’re building a job application form, you will want applicants to upload their CV and should restrict uploads to Documents to prevent mistakes.

Maximum File Size

When you add a file upload field to an online form, the maximum size of the files that can be uploaded is set to the maximum for your plan:

  • 2 Mb for Business Starter
  • 4 Mb for Business Plus
  • 8 Mb for Business Max
  • 10 Mb for Business Premier
  • 15 Mb for Business 3

Edit the file upload field and use the slider to adjust that value to whatever makes sense for the purpose of the form.

Storage Policy for Uploaded Content

You can define the period of time during which FormSmarts retains uploaded content. At this time, we support eight storage policies:

  • 5 days
  • 10 days
  • 30 days
  • 90 days
  • 1 year (365 days)
  • 2 years (731 days)
  • 5 years (1,827 days)
  • Forever (default)

The period of time FormSmarts keeps form attachments can be set for each individual file upload field. To change it, edit each file upload field and set the retention period as required for your application.

To prevent accidental data loss, FormSmarts keeps, by default, form attachments on the cloud for the lifetime of the account (“forever” option). While this ensures a high level of data availability and durability, members may then exceed the upload storage quota for their accounts — currently:

  • 100 Mb for Business Starter
  • 500 Mb for Business Plus
  • 1.5 Gb for Business Max
  • 10 Gb for Business Premier
  • 20 Gb for Business 3

You can view your current usage in the Resource Usage section of your account. We’ll send you an email if you’re getting close to or exceed the storage space for your plan.

Note: Form attachments for online forms integrating with PayPal using Advanced Integration are retained for at least 20 days, even if the storage policy is set to 5 or 10 days.

Secure File Upload

File upload works with FormSmarts secure form feature so that files attached to a secure form only transit via a secure connection (TLS/SSL), both when uploaded to FormSmarts and when downloaded by the form owner. Form attachments uploaded securely are also encrypted at rest.

Any Feedback?

As always, your feedback is important to us and is our primary inspiration for developing new features and improving existing ones.

About the Form Builder Blog

The Online Form Builder Blog is published by FormSmarts, a web form service providing all you need to create a form and publish it online in minutes. FormSmarts makes it easy to build a form and embed it on your site. You can then get form submissions by email or store them on FormSmarts and download an Excel report. Learn more about the many other benefits of FormSmarts.