You can’t always trust online forms. Even if hosted on a credible website, they may be used to capture and steal your sensitive information for nefarious purposes. Form grabbing, for instance, is a cyber threat in which a hacker uses online forms to steal the sensitive information of a website’s users. For a better understanding of form grabbing and how to prevent it, keep reading.

What Is Form Grabbing?

Form grabbing is a cyber threat that, as previously mentioned, is used to steal the information entered into an online form. Online forms allow website users to enter information. Some of them may consist of nothing more than a name and password field, whereas others have additional fields for body text or messages. Regardless, form grabbing involves a hacker stealing the information entered into an online form.

How Form Grabbing Works

How does form grabbing work exactly? It’s typically performed in one of two ways: a man-in-the-middle (MITM) cyber attack or malware. With a MITM cyber attack, a hacker will breach the connection between a website and its users. Assuming the connection isn’t encrypted, the hacker will be able to retrieve data the exchanged data. Users who enter information into an online form will essentially send that information to the hacker.

In addition to MITM cyber attacks, form grabbing can be performed using malware. Not to be confused with keylogging software, form grabbing malware is designed specifically to steal the information entered into an online form. Form-grabbing malware is typically installed on websites. Once deployed, it will covertly capture and steal the information of its users. Any information that you enter into an online form on an infected steal will be captured by the form-grabbing malware.

Ways to Protect Against Form Grabbing

You can still complete online forms when using the internet, but you should take precautions to protect against form grabbing. For starters, avoid completing online forms over an unencrypted connection. You can see whether or not your connection to a website is encrypted by looking for the “HTTPS” protocol in your web browser. The “HTTPS” protocol denotes encryption, meaning MITM cyber attacks aren’t possible.

Running antivirus software will also protect you from form grabbing. Contrary to its name, antivirus software doesn’t just protect against viruses. Most forms of antivirus software offer protection against multiple types of malware, including form-grabbing malware. Using an encrypted connection in conjunction with antivirus software will greatly lower your risk of being targeted by from grabbing.

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