Tips & tricks7 Min.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Working with Sensitive Form Data

The last thing you want when collecting data online is this sensitive data getting into the wrong hands. Let’s see what the mistakes to avoid are, and how to do that.

Handling sensitive form data is a critical aspect of web development, and making mistakes in this area can have severe consequences. Whether you're building an e-commerce site, a healthcare application, or any other platform that collects sensitive information, it's essential to prioritize data security. In this article, we'll explore five common mistakes to avoid when working with sensitive form data and how to avoid them.

What is sensitive data?

Sensitive data typically refers to information that is confidential and only accessible to authorized users with proper permission, privileges, or clearance to view it. Sensitive data can include personal data, such as names, addresses, contact information, financial information, health information, and credentials, as well as trade, proprietary, and government information. It is subject to specific processing conditions and regulations to protect it from unauthorized access, disclosure, or misuse. Sensitive data exposure could cause serious harm to individuals, organizations, or national security.

Which type of mistakes can be made?

When working with sensitive data you need be extra careful. You must make sure you collect the right data, in the right way and store that data in a safe infrastructure. Let’s have a look at 5 mistakes that can happen when working with sensitive data.

1. Inadequate Encryption

One of the most significant mistakes you can make is failing to encrypt sensitive form data properly. Encryption is the process of converting data into a secure, unreadable format to protect it from unauthorized access. Using HTTPS and strong encryption algorithms like TLS is crucial for securing data during transmission. Additionally, encrypting data at rest, such as within databases, is equally essential. Failure to encrypt can lead to data breaches and compromise user privacy.

2. Improper Input Validation

Failing to validate user input is another major pitfall. Input validation is a security measure that checks the data submitted through forms to ensure it adheres to predefined criteria. Without proper validation, attackers can exploit vulnerabilities like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other injection attacks. Validate input on the client and server side, ensuring it conforms to the expected format and rejecting any potentially harmful data.

3. Storing Excessive Data

It's tempting to collect more data than necessary, but doing so can expose your users to unnecessary risks. Storing sensitive information, such as credit card details, Social Security numbers, or medical records, when it's not required increases the scope of data that can be compromised in case of a breach. Adopt the principle of data minimization by only collecting and storing the data essential for your application's functionality. Implement strict data retention policies and dispose of data when it's no longer needed.

4. Weak Password Handling

User authentication and password management are crucial components of handling sensitive data. Storing passwords in plain text is a grave mistake, as it leaves user accounts vulnerable to attackers in the event of a data breach. Instead, use strong, industry-standard hashing algorithms like bcrypt to securely store and verify passwords. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of protection, making it harder for malicious actors to gain unauthorized access.

5. Neglecting Access Controls

Failing to implement robust access controls is a common oversight. Access controls define who can access sensitive form data and what actions they can perform. Without adequate access controls, employees or users may have unauthorized access to confidential information. Implement role-based access control (RBAC) and principle of least privilege (POLP) to ensure that only authorized personnel can access specific data. Regularly audit and monitor access to detect and prevent unauthorized activities.

How to avoid sensitive data mistakes?

SaaS solutions, like Typeform, Jotform or SurveyMonkey, help you to build and distribute forms very quickly and with amazing user experiences, but you don’t have any control over the data you collect. All your data is stored on their infrastructure, so you just have to rely on them that this is all handled correctly and in a safe place.

Ideally, you would take control over all these aspects in regard to your form distribution. But building a full form solution from the ground up is almost impossible if you want to do it thoroughly and up to modern standards. Your respondents expect the best user experience these days and your form needs to be smart enough to only ask the right questions to keep your form completion rates as high as possible.

Luckily, there is an alternative to SaaS without building your own form solution, namely the Tripetto FormBuilder SDK. This is essentially best of both worlds: it includes all modern form features you expect from SaaS solutions, like logic, calculators, and conversational design. On top of that it is no SaaS, but a development kit. Therefore, it enables you to take control of everything related to form distribution and data storage. That way you don’t need to develop your own full stacked form solution, but still can neatly integrate it with your own app/website and your own back end.

How Tripetto FormBuilder SDK handles sensitive data

The best thing about the FormBuilder SDK of Tripetto is that you get full control over your data. Because you integrate the form features right into your own application’s code base, there are zero connections to third-party infrastructure. That way all your data, if implemented correctly of course, stays within your own environment and thus control.

This doesn’t mean all sensitive data mistakes are a thing of the past right away. By using the FormBuilder SDK you have a top-notch form tool in your application to gather the data, but you do have to take your own measures to make your application a safe place for your data. Think of:

  • Secure encryption and storage of the data;
  • Secure and robust data access management;
  • Password policies;
  • Server security.

Tripetto form features

Once implemented, the FormBuilder SDK gives you a full-fledged form solution with everything included to build and deploy beautiful, smart, and highly converting forms. That includes:

  • A drag-and-drop form builder with which you build your forms as flowcharts, with form logic as a core principle;
  • Advanced form logic to react to given answers and make your forms smart and interactive;
  • Multiple form layouts to choose from to meet up with your audience;
  • All question blocks (i.e. types) you need, from simple text inputs to drag-and-drop rankings;
  • Highly customizable forms and features: if you need something custom, like a custom question type or even a custom form layout, you can just develop that yourself and use it in your own integration.

How to integrate Tripetto FormBuilder SDK

There is a fully working demo available that lets you play with the form components and shows how JSON plays a vital role to collect data with the Tripetto FormBuilder SDK.

Tripetto’s FormBuilder SDK can easily be integrated in any type of modern JavaScript application. It includes ready to go components for React and Angular. But even with plain JavaScript and HTML it is possible to use the FormBuilder SDK.

We made some simple quickstarts with code snippets for each of the frameworks that you can use:

All technical documentation on every aspect of the FormBuilder SDK is available in our SDK Docs.


When working with sensitive data, you need to be very careful. You don’t want sensitive data like medical records, finance details or educational results falling into the wrong hands. There are quite some mistakes you can make while collecting such sensitive data through an online form. There are both technical and content related aspects you must take care of.

With Tripetto’s FormBuilder SDK you can take advantage of a full-fledged form solution, including all modern features you expect from a SaaS form tool, but with a total flexibility of how you implement it in your app/website and full control over the form data storage. That way you are fully in charge, to avoid the mistakes that can be made while working with sensitive data.

You can test the implementation of the FormBuilder SDK completely before you decide to go for an SDK license. Depending on what SDK components you implement, different SDK licenses and prices may apply. Find out what best suits your case by filling out the SDK license wizard and our SDK team will gladly schedule a 30-minute call to go over your project and help you in the right direction. Free of charge, of course.

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