Looking for an easy way to create an anonymous survey? We have your answer with two simple methods!
Surveys can be vital sources of audience information. However, you don't always need to collect data that you can trace back to readers. Sometimes, an anonymous survey is all that you and site visitors need.
Fortunately, it's easy to make one. By using a few simple methods, you can help users answer surveys with confidence.
In this article, we'll cover a few reasons why you might want to create an anonymous survey. Then, we'll walk you through two ways of making this type of survey example. Let's dive right in!
Why you might want to make an anonymous survey
No matter what kind of website you run, you might need to create an anonymous survey. There can be several reasons for this approach.
For example, you might want to collect feedback. Users might be more honest if they know their answers won't be traced back to them. This approach might also help you collect more responses.
Another reason could be the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR is a set of guidelines that protects user data. If you want to be GDPR compliant, creating an anonymous survey is a simple way to do it.
Regardless of the reasons, learning another way to build surveys can be another tool in your toolbox.
Can an online survey be anonymous?
Yes! Even online surveys can be anonymous. However, most surveys will collect personal information by default. You may need to take extra steps with any form builder to make sure you know what data is being collected.
Fortunately, you have two different methods that you can use.
How to create an anonymous survey (2 methods)
Building an untraceable survey can be easy. Here are two ways to protect users' data – try using both of them for maximum effect!
Method 1: Disable IP storage
To keep surveys private, you can disable the storage of IP addresses. These addresses identify the physical locations of visitors.
Before you start, make sure you don't need this IP information for any of your forms. Disabling this data collection is a global setting. As such, forms that use IP addresses to track submissions – such as an RSVP form – might not be able to collect the information you need.
To turn off IP address collection, go to Formidable → Global Settings → General Settings:
Then, find the Do not store IPs with form submissions box. Click on it. After you do, no future entries will track IP addresses.
However, this setting only applies to entries received after you make the change. As such, you'll still have personal information from previous forms.
Method 2: Ask questions carefully
IP addresses aren't the only elements that can identify a survey taker. As you might expect, the questions themselves can also affect anonymity. That's why we recommend that you think through surveys before you publish them.
For example, leaving out a form's User ID field is an easy way to make sure the survey data doesn't trace back to them:
In addition, disabling any smart default values can also avoid dynamically filled-in fields like an email address. Leaving out both of these elements can help prevent accidentally collecting private information in a confidential survey.
Nevertheless, there are also less obvious aspects to think about. Asking someone demographic questions or which position they hold at work may not seem too intrusive. However, if you also ask them which company they work for, the user could feel that the survey isn't as anonymous as it should be.
That's why we recommend that you approach surveys with a big-picture view. Consider grouping all potentially identifying information on one page. That way, you can get a better idea of how anonymous it will be. This setup can also help organize the experience for site users.
You may also want to put a disclaimer at the top of anonymous surveys. Even a brief notice that you're not collecting IP addresses or personal data can help put the audience at ease and increase survey response rates.
Untraceable surveys can serve many different purposes. However, whether you use them to respect user privacy or collect more honest feedback, Formidable Forms can simplify the process.
In this article, we showed you two different ways to provide an anonymous survey:
- Prevent surveys from collecting IP addresses.
- Carefully consider the implications of the questions you're asking.
Formidable Forms can help you create surveys that are both private and high quality. Learn more about what our tool can do today!
As shown in this article, the settings made the respondent's IP invisible.
However, if the respondent is logged into WordPress, won't the user information remain in the entry data?
I would like to have a setting to make it completely anonymous.
It would be nice to be able to set this on a per form basis if possible!
If your form doesn't have any identifying information (user id field, name, email, etc.), it can still be used anonymously. If you have more questions on this, you can contact our support team.
Thank you for your reply.
Okey, I will contact your support team.
Thank you for your reply.
I understand. I will contact the support team.
Can IP addresses be tracked here?
Steph Wells says
Yep, IP addresses are tracked in forms by default. This gives you rough location info, so a survey could be narrowed down to an individual. For example, our team is worldwide, so an IP address would tell us who filled out the survey.
Gina Baranski says
so if I understand this article correctly, if I check the box to NOT track IP's and I don't ask my users to submit any personal information, then I can safely say that I am not storing any User data? Even if formidable forms is a plug in with wordpress and hosted on amazon..I'm still keeping my users anonymous?
You are correct. We don't store or have access the form submissions. all form data is saved/stored on your own server/database. If you aren't collecting personal information and aren't tracking IPs, there should be nothing to link an entry to a specific person so anonymity should be preserved.