Kiosk Security and Privacy

  • Type: Article
  • Author: Stephanie Kropkowski
  • Date: October 2010
  • Download PDF

1. Kiosk Software: Secures the application, prevents misuse, and clears user history.

2. Retractable Printer: Retracts paper immediately back into the kiosk if the user steps off of the mat.

3. Security Mats: Clears user history when the user steps away, restarts the application

One of our biggest attention grabbers at tradeshows is a kiosk with an attached security mat. We get a lot of “This isn’t going to weigh me, is it?” jokes, but attendees are genuinely intrigued by what will happen when they step on the security mat.

When a brave soul does step onto the mat, the kiosk recognizes a user is there and the start page pops up. The user can then safely navigate throughout the application, knowing that the security mat will identify when they walk away from the kiosk. More importantly, our KioWare kiosk software, in conjunction with a security mat, like Larco security mats, will clear all cookies, cache and user history immediately after they leave. In general, kiosk software can be configured to restart the application and clear user history after a specified period of idle time. This creates a gray area where a user may or may not be at the kiosk. This simply does not provide the necessary security for some applications, such as HR kiosks or banking kiosks. A user is either at the kiosk (on the security mat) or away from the kiosk (off the security mat). “Financial institutions tell us that their customers take great comfort in feeling secure when they use self-service venues, knowing that when they leave or forget to log off, vital data instantly disappears,” Kay Wilson, Marketing Director of Larco, Kiosk Security Products shared.

Similarly, KioWare is also configurable with retractable kiosk printers that work with security mats. If the printed document is forgotten by the user, it is retracted back to an internal disposal box, thus maintaining the user’s privacy. If a security mat is not being used, then kiosk printers generally retract after a designated amount of time, but this also does not ensure complete privacy. What if a new user walks up to the kiosk immediately after the first user and takes the printout before the printer has been set to retract? The most reliable way to protect the user’s printout is by conjoining the retract event with the security mat’s termination of the user’s session. Now, if a user steps off the security mat without taking his or her printout, it will instantly be retracted, thus ensuring the user’s complete privacy.

While these features are fun attention grabbers at tradeshows, they are a must for kiosk projects where user security and privacy are critical. Applications like Human Resource and banking kiosk projects rely on the protection that hardware peripherals like security mats and retractable printers provide, as well as the ease of implementing those peripherals with the application. Users rely on these features to make them feel that their information is secure, giving them the confidence to interact with the kiosk.

Not sure if your kiosk is secure enough? Read more: How Secure is Your Kiosk?