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How do I prevent a participant from taking part more than once?

Depending on the type of survey or questionnaire, multiple participation should be prevented so that the result is not distorted or negatively influenced. easyfeedback offers you various functions and options to prevent multiple participation:

Settings: Single or multiple participation allowed

In the settings of each survey you can decide whether multiple participation is allowed or not. If multiple participation is not desired, then set the response to “Only one participation is permitted per computer”.

You have two options for this function:

Cookie blocking: Cookie blocking places a cookie in the browser that the participant uses to open the survey. This cookie contains the survey ID and is matched when the survey is opened again. If the participant has successfully completed the survey, he cannot participate again and sees a message that he has already participated..

IP blocking: IP blocking works in exactly the same way as cookie blocking, except that here the IP address is read, converted into a non-reverse-encryptable hashtag, and only then stored. When the survey is called up again, the hash is matched and participation cannot be repeated if the survey has already been completed.

Both mechanisms are tied to the end device (computer, smartphone, etc.). However, as soon as a participant changes the device or, in the case of the cookie, the browser, the participant can no longer be recognized on another device and thus participate again.

Usually, participants finish the survey on the same device they started it with.
Also, the likelihood of participants actively trying to take your survey on different devices to skew the results is extremely low.

Email invitation tool

When you invite participants to your survey via easyfeedback’s email invitation tool, each participant receives a unique link that is only valid once. Doing so has two advantages:

  1. You can exclude multiple participation, because the automatically generated survey link is valid only once.
  1. The participant can change the device or location and continue or complete the survey from there. This is possible because each participant receives a unique link. The previously described “single or multiple participation” options are no longer relevant in this case, since the functionality is governed exclusively by the unique link.

Individual access codes for participation

As a third option, you can allow participation in the survey using access codes only. Access codes work similarly to the unique links from the email invitations:

  1. Each access code is valid only once. Once participation has taken place, the access code cannot be used a second time.
  1. Access codes can be recognized across devices and locations. The participant can thus interrupt the survey at any time and continue it at another location.
  1. If you create and export the manual access codes, you can also prevent multiple participation without our email invitation tool and do not have any email addresses of customers or employees stored at easyfeedback.

Food for thought

In discussions with our customers, we often hear concerns that people could take part in a survey more than once, thereby distorting the results. Or employees use the survey as a channel to express their displeasure.

Now, before you invest a lot of energy into making your survey tamper-proof, consider the likelihood of such a scenario. Do my customers or employees really have the time and desire to complete a survey multiple times? At what point or how many multiple participations by one and the same person will this influence the overall result?

Your concerns are appropriate, but we can assure you from experience that this almost never happens.

And if a person actually wants to falsify the result, this involves a huge amount of effort. On the one hand, the person must first find out how the locks work, and on the other hand, he or she must have the necessary time to falsify the result significantly and inconspicuously.

If you still have the feeling that the results have been influenced, then take a look at the participation time. If the average is just under ten minutes and a participation was completed several times in two to three minutes, then you will recognize the falsified data very quickly.

Best informed? Start your survey now