Any software that can take screenshots when a contact form is filled out and/or submitted?

15 replies
I am looking for something along the lines of ActivTrak. It must trigger a screenshot whenever someone using the computer fills out and/or submits a website's contact form. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

UPDATE: Most of the people here didn't understand my question. I am NOT trying to spy on people visiting a certain website. Instead, I am trying to monitor my employee WITH HIS AUTHORIZATION and KNOWLEDGE. I want to make sure he fills out contact forms as that is the most important task I have hired him for.
#and or or #contact #filled #form #screenshots #software #submitted
  • Profile picture of the author wayfarer
    Takes a screenshot of what? The browser window? The whole computer? You can't just take a screenshot of someone's computer from a website, the browser security settings won't allow you. Taking a screenshot of what is inside the browser window may be technically possible, but very difficult.
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    • Profile picture of the author Newrichgraphics
      Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post

      Takes a screenshot of what? The browser window? The whole computer? You can't just take a screenshot of someone's computer from a website, the browser security settings won't allow you. Taking a screenshot of what is inside the browser window may be technically possible, but very difficult.
      Take a screenshot of someone's browser from the same computer they're using when a contact form is filled out and/or submitted
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  • Profile picture of the author wayfarer
    Unless you're talking about using a browser plugin of some sort, you can't actually do it from their computer. You could, however, make a copy of the exact HTML that is present once the form is submitted, and pass this to the server. Then, make a mirror copy of the page, and use a server driven browser (such as Selenium Webdriver) to take a screenshot of that mirror page. That's the only practical way I can think of doing it, other than a browser extension (plugin). You're going to need a specialized developer, no matter what.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebThinker
    I do my best to figure out, why would someone need anything like that... The sole purpose I can think of that you want to actually "spy" on people's email address and their interest (since when they fill out a contact form they usually have to enter email + what they want). While I understand the benefit of having these information, I can tell that they are more simple way of doing that...

    However, what you want is VERY complicated... not only because you will not have the authorization to do this on somebody's computer, but also because I assume you don't want the screenshot with the empty form, but when that is filled.

    Anyway, I think that we all would appreciate if you would share us (or PM) what exactly the purpose is?
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    • Profile picture of the author Sitesupplier
      Originally Posted by WebThinker View Post

      I do my best to figure out, why would someone need anything like that... The sole purpose I can think of that you want to actually "spy" on people's email address and their interest (since when they fill out a contact form they usually have to enter email + what they want). While I understand the benefit of having these information, I can tell that they are more simple way of doing that...

      However, what you want is VERY complicated... not only because you will not have the authorization to do this on somebody's computer, but also because I assume you don't want the screenshot with the empty form, but when that is filled.

      Anyway, I think that we all would appreciate if you would share us (or PM) what exactly the purpose is?
      Can you explain the difference between these two please?

      1. Spying on the user by "watching" what they enter in the form via screenshot
      2. Spying on the user by reading what they enter in the form after submission

      The OP probably doesn't have a clear mind about what they want to achieve anyway, since taking a screenshot is potentially troublesome.

      One way to achieve this result, as pointed out by a member on StackOverflow, would be to grab the DOM nodes and use an AJAX (XMLHttpRequest) request to send the nodes to the server, and take the screenshot on the server-side.

      I have no idea how this would be achieved in the server-side language of choice other than probable use of a library such as GD.
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      • Profile picture of the author wayfarer
        Originally Posted by Sitesupplier View Post

        I have no idea how this would be achieved in the server-side language of choice other than probable use of a library such as GD.
        Taking a screenshot, as long as you know exactly what the rendered HTML and resources are, is actually relatively straightforward. This doesn't mean it's easy though, since there are a lot of technical issues that are unexpected. A dedicated server instance of some sort will be needed, preferably one that doesn't run on the same server that is serving the actual web page. This is because you need to use an actual web browser to take the screen shot. There are various ways to do this, but the only one I have experience with is Selenium Webdriver. The trick is, getting it to work without a monitor...

        The real question here is, is screenshots the real solution to the problem? Valid points have been raised about that.

        If you really want screenshots, it is an expensive development, and it will be hard to find someone who really knows what they are doing and has done it before.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    ActiveTrak uses client-based software running in the background. If you want to track your employee's computer use, why don't you just use ActiveTrak - it's free.

    On the other hand, if you're trying to grab screenshots of someone's machine who has no employee relationship with you - i.e., getting shots of a visitor to your website's screen, then you probably ought to think real hard as I'm relatively certain that would run afoul of more than one wiretapping or eavesdropping laws.

    Not to mention that if someone found out, they'd probably send Guido around with a baseball bat.
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  • Profile picture of the author nikomaster
    It is possible only if the form is working with JAVA. I have never tried to do this but it could be interesting. however, this is like violating privacy don't you think?
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  • Profile picture of the author Newrichgraphics
    Most of the people here didn't understand my question. I am NOT trying to spy on people visiting a certain website. Instead, I am trying to monitor my employee WITH HIS AUTHORIZATION and KNOWLEDGE. I want to make sure he fills out contact forms as that is the most important task I have hired him for.
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    • Profile picture of the author wayfarer
      Originally Posted by Newrichgraphics View Post

      Most of the people here didn't understand my question. I am NOT trying to spy on people visiting a certain website. Instead, I am trying to monitor my employee WITH HIS AUTHORIZATION and KNOWLEDGE. I want to make sure he fills out contact forms as that is the most important task I have hired him for.
      Ok, then you'll need to require them to install a browser extension of some sort. I doubt any exist that do this, so you'll need to have one developed. Or, you could just have them write a log of all the forms they fill out, and choose to trust them.

      Or better still, you could have them take the screenshots themselves, with something like Jing, and have them send you a link to all of the screenshots so you can check them.
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    • Profile picture of the author nikomaster
      Originally Posted by Newrichgraphics View Post

      Most of the people here didn't understand my question. I am NOT trying to spy on people visiting a certain website. Instead, I am trying to monitor my employee WITH HIS AUTHORIZATION and KNOWLEDGE. I want to make sure he fills out contact forms as that is the most important task I have hired him for.
      Ok then, I did a program once which takes screenshots per a time period. I do not know whether it would be useful to you. But everything was local without sending any data remotely.
      I can share it with you if you want. No cost at all.
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    • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
      Originally Posted by Newrichgraphics View Post

      Most of the people here didn't understand my question. I am NOT trying to spy on people visiting a certain website. Instead, I am trying to monitor my employee WITH HIS AUTHORIZATION and KNOWLEDGE. I want to make sure he fills out contact forms as that is the most important task I have hired him for.
      You didn't exactly make clear your circumstances...

      Why don't you just use ActiveTrak? It's free for up to 3 employees.
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  • Profile picture of the author mehdi7604
    Web Applications can not access to the OS, it's simply forbidden.
    you can use others methods instead.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sitesupplier
    Originally Posted by Newrichgraphics View Post

    UPDATE: Most of the people here didn't understand my question. I am NOT trying to spy on people visiting a certain website. Instead, I am trying to monitor my employee WITH HIS AUTHORIZATION and KNOWLEDGE. I want to make sure he fills out contact forms as that is the most important task I have hired him for.
    Perhaps I'm still not understanding the question, but why not just monitor the form itself in PHP? All you would need to do is keep track of the form's input fields. Either they're true (completed) or false (empty).

    Better yet, you could simply disallow submission of the form in question until all fields are completed. This doesn't validate the input, so false submissions could be made with junk entries entered into the forms, but is this really likely to happen anyway? How trustworthy is the employee?

    Silly question, since I think the answer will be "no", but are you a developer? If so, this should be an easy problem to fix. If not, you'll need to find someone with knowledge of HTML and PHP, such as a junior PHP developer. This isn't a job for a professional or higher level developer.

    Anyway, checking the form fields is a much more efficient way of handling this problem over the long-winded, convoluted method you describe and the CPU resources used will be next to none.
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