Survey Protection - Qualtrics Support

Survey Protection


Some surveys require more privacy than others. Using the Survey Protection settings available in Survey Options, you can password protect your survey, specify a date and time for the survey to close, prevent respondents from taking the survey more than once, and more.

To access your Survey Protection settings, click Survey Options in the Survey module.


You will see the following Survey Protection settings:


Determining Who Can Access Your Survey

There are two ways a respondent can enter your survey. The first is to do so anonymously, by clicking an Anonymous Link. The second is to click an Individual Link generated just for them (either though the Emails tab or the Personal Links tab in the Distributions module).

By default, respondents with either type of link can take your survey. If you would like to restrict access to only those who have received the Individual Link in an email invitation, select By Invitation Only.

Warning: In addition to disabling the Anonymous Link, the By Invitation Only setting also disables the Multiple Completes Link.

To change survey access

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Choose either Open Access or By Invitation Only. Open Access will be selected by default.image05

Setting a Survey Password

You can set a single, general password that any respondent must enter to access your survey. This is helpful when you are using the Anonymous Link and want to restrict who can enter the survey.

Qtip: If you want to have a unique password for each survey taker, you might consider using an Authenticator in your survey.

To set a survey password

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Select the Password Protection checkbox.image09
  3. Enter the desired password.image07
    Qtip: This password can be adjusted at any time.

Preventing Respondents from Taking Your Survey More Than Once

In circumstances where you are offering an incentive or conducting a sensitive vote, you may want to prevent participants from taking a survey more than once. The Prevent Ballot Box Stuffing option helps keep respondents from taking a survey multiple times by placing a cookie on their browser when they submit a response. The next time the respondent clicks on the survey link, Qualtrics will see this cookie and not permit them to take the survey.

Prevent Ballot Box Stuffing is a great deterrent, but can be circumvented by savvy participants clearing their browser cookies or switching to a different web browser. With surveys that have a higher incentive to cheat, consider distributing your survey using the Qualtrics Mailer (which creates a unique, one-time use link for each participant) or using an Authenticator.

To enable Prevent Ballot Box Stuffing

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Select the Prevent Ballot Box Stuffing checkbox.image06

Restricting What Website a Respondent Comes From

Using the HTTP Referer Verification option, you can specify the URL your respondents must come from in order to access your survey.

This setting is useful if your survey link is posted on a particular website (such as an internal university or company page) and you want to make sure the link does not get copied and sent to others. Only those who can access that page would be able to take the survey.

Example: A retailer might want to provide a short survey with a $10 coupon at the end. Concerned that participants might forward this to all their friends, they add HTTP Referer Verification stating that the participant must click on the link while on a specific logged-in page of the website.

To restrict what website a respondent comes from

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Select the HTTP Referer Verification checkbox.image00
  3. Enter the URL of the website respondents must come from.image04

Preventing Search Engines From Finding Your Survey

Search engines work by creating what is called an index, or a map of all pages on the Internet so they can be searched quickly. With the Prevent Indexing option, you can keep search engines from finding your survey and presenting it in their search results.

To prevent indexing

Qtip: Prevent Indexing is selected by default, but may be unchecked for surveys that should be visible in web searches.
  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Select the Prevent Indexing checkbox. This option is checked by default.image08

Specifying When Your Survey Can Be Started

By default, surveys can be taken at any time as long as they are active. Setting the Survey Expiration allows you to specify the exact date and time when respondents can begin your survey.

Example: If your survey needs to only collect responses that started before the new year, you could set New Years Day as the expiration date so that you can enjoy the holiday festivities without needing to remember to deactivate your survey.

Respondents trying to access your survey before or after the specified range will receive a simple message explaining that the survey is currently unavailable. The expiration date specifically affects participants’ ability to start the survey. Those who are in the middle of a response will be allowed to continue taking their survey and finish after the expiration date.

Qtip: The start and end times are based off of your account time zone, which can be changed in your Account Settings.

To set a survey expiration date

  1. Open Survey Options in the Survey module.image01
  2. Select the Survey Expiration checkbox.image02
  3. Set the date range the survey will be available.image03