Public-access Computers as Secure Kiosks

Locked down and secure public computers are available in public places like libraries, schools, or government facilities .

Public computers can use the same hardware and software components as personal computers, however, the role and function of a public access computer is entirely different.  Public access computers need to be able to protect your users privacy and also define exactly how a computer can be used.  These systems are often set up to be purpose specific systems to only allow certain web app or locally installed application.  This could include room reservations, security desk online tools, open access to the internet as a community service, information kiosk for access to court documents, student testings centers and more.

Integrated Systems Logo

Organizations like The American Library Association have created standards and benchmarks for the deployment and use of these computers. These standards are guidelines that communities can use to develop their own policies and standards to make this access affordable for each library and equitable for their patrons.

Many public libraries offer some kind of training or individual assistance from librarians. This can included training for productivity software like Microsoft Office that provides users with computer skills that enhance their employment prospects. The kiosk can be used to update resumes, write school papers and create simple advertising materials. Depending on the location, the library will set a schedule for use of the computers based on library traffic and demand. During slow traffic times, many libraries allow drop-in computer use. If you have any questions about allowing application or other features while testing the free evaluation of SiteKiosk, our knowledgeable support specialist can assist you. Please contact us today with any questions you have.

Internet access is one of the main features users look for in public computers. In some suburban and rural areas, the public library may provide the only free Internet access for the community. Budgetary considerations that the library must make are how many staff members will be required to train Internet users. With a software like SiteKiosk locking down the system, the burden of monitoring the internet activity can be controlled with tools like the Surfing Area and Internet Content Filter. Libraries are required by the Patriot Act and local ordinances to monitor their patrons to prevent use of library computers to endanger national security. Libraries must balance these monitoring practices and their patrons’ right to privacy. In 2003 the United States Supreme Court made the decision to require all public libraries that accept federal funds to install filters on all computers. These filters prevent access to sites deemed pornographic or otherwise damaging to children.

A public access computer is used by many different untrusted individuals throughout the course of the day. The computer must be locked down and secured against both intentional and unintentional abuse. SiteKiosk locks down the system on multiples levels to provide your users with a secure environment to access the apps and information you provide. With SiteKiosk users will not have the authority to install software or change settings. Our software protects and locks down public computers to prevent user tampering.

With SiteKiosk users will not have the authority to install software or change settings. Our software protects and locks down public computers to prevent user tampering and protects the user’s privacy by clearing the last user’s session data.

If you have custom requirements for a unique scenario, contact us today to find out how SiteKiosk can meet your requirements with a custom solution.