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Best Kiosk Software in 2020

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What is Kiosk Software?

Kiosk software is an application that secures the programs running on a kiosk along with its functionalities. In short, it can be taken as a security application that has the powers of transforming your PC’s and computers to a self Kiosk desk. Its primary function is to ensure that no user is either able to get into the system or make use of the functionalities of a kiosk machine without proper authentication. It provides some security to your Kiosk system and saves it from falling prey to any kind of malpractices and unauthenticated login.

Generally, kiosk software is developed keeping in mind various functionalities of a personal computer or a tablet. From preparing an invoice to reading cards or fetching files, a kiosk, which is a physical structure used for specific functionalities, can be used for various purposes. This necessitates it on the part of an operator to make sure that the application is based on the functionalities of the kiosk in question. It is the software component of the kiosk which makes it useful for performing all these functionalities. It can be thought of as a lockdown software that lets the system stay at bay from any kind of tampering activity.

As is the case with other systems, a kiosk also involves hardware with various components. No matter how good its quality may be, proper interaction among its components and with users is necessary to execute the tasks for which it is meant. Kiosk software is tailor-made to take up this role and accomplish it with finesse. Further, it also promotes the usefulness of a kiosk by enclosing it in a secured layer.

Together with the hardware components, the software component of kiosk helps in performing the following:

  • Security: This feature locks down the features and content of a kiosk and shows only the content which is approved for public consumption by the administrator.
  • Interface: The interface of a kiosk acts as a virtual access point for users to access sites, systems, and other destinations.
  • Functionality: Kiosk software provides the best possible solutions to interact with various peripheral devices that are linked with a kiosk.
  • Management: Apart from the basic functions, kiosk software is also designed to execute various tasks linked to the management of data.
  • Notifications: A kiosk may go offline due to service-related reasons. Kiosk software is programmed to shoot notifications in such instances.
  • Integration:Kiosk works the best in conjunction with software from the other majors. The software component of the kiosk helps connect it with other pieces of software.

In most systems, inputting or fetching data to receive output constitutes the core operation. Kiosk software is designed to do both without compromising a user’s data.

As far as a kiosk is concerned, it may either involve a machine or a website. To keep it up and running, it is important to eliminate any potential risk concerning access to data or functionalities by an unauthorized user.

Given the important functionalities that a kiosk has, its security is of paramount importance. Ideally, a Kiosk should be able to operate without any interruption from an external source. Kiosk lockdown software plays a vital role in ensuring it.

The scope of kiosk lockdown software is well defined. It not only keeps a kiosk and its applications up and running but also prevents any unauthorized access to it. Also, it supervises kiosk’s booting procedure. In other words, it helps keep the security arrangements in place when a kiosk boots up.

In broad terms, kiosk software and the one intended for locking it down work hand in hand to ensure access to only that much data as approved by a kiosk administrator. Together, they plug various gaps and complete the function-related puzzle of a kiosk.

Security Features of Kiosk Software

When it comes to the security of kiosk, kiosk lockdown software and its system software cover all bases.

Speaking of kiosk lockdown software, it is a program that does not allow any other entity other than the administrator of a kiosk to control the booting process of a kiosk system. This has a great significance in the overall security layer of kiosks.

Cybercriminals try to get into the system by gaining access to its operating system. Their best bet to do so is to shut down the kiosk system. Once this happens, a machine needs to restart. They can tamper with the settings and change them to gain access to it.

Kiosk software works in tandem with kiosk lockdown software to ensure this security setting. This feature deters hackers and cybercriminals from mounting an online attack on the system.

Interestingly, kiosk lockdown software is just one of the core components of the whole security system. It also involves additional security layers to ensure the safety of both the administrator as well as users.

Apart from kiosk lockdown software, here are some of the other features that help secure the kiosk system.

  1. Keyboard filtering: The combination of certain keys can provide access to the main menu or other windows through which a user can elude the security settings. Kiosk lockdown software and kiosk program work together to enable this feature. Also, kiosk management software plays a vital role in making it useful.
  2. Virtual keyboard: These days, the majority of kiosks involve the use of a virtual keyboard. The rationale behind it is to bypass the need of using a physical keyboard. This helps kiosks in getting rid of the risks involved in hitting the Alt+Ctrl+Delete keys. As such, it helps reduce the chances of data theft and identity theft of users. This key combination is not programmed in a virtual keyboard or on-screen keyboard. Plus, it works according to how it is programmed.
  3. Session end features/attract screens: Attract screens appear instead of the desktop screen whenever there is idle time in a user’s session. This helps clear all the settings, including the browsing history of the previous user. As such, it protects the data of the user from unauthorized access or tampering. The next user gets to start a new session with all the security features and settings in place.
  4. Support of an external device: For added protection, external devices are also connected to kiosks. An example of this type of device is a retractable printer. Unlike normal printers, this printer retracts the printed material instantly as soon as the session of a user comes to an end. Other devices like proximity switches, and security mats, are also used to detect the presence of a new user. Upon detecting the presence of someone at the kiosk within the proximity of the device, it clears the history, data and other settings of the previous user and restores the default options immediately.
  5. Online checking: The best part about kiosk software is that it connects a kiosk to the main server which controls its functionalities. A single server can manage the functioning of multiple kiosks. Whether you consider the best kiosk software or an average one, the functions are more or less the same. All kiosks send the usage statistics report and the health report to the main server. This is essential to the functioning of a kiosk without a break. Based on these reports, the central server makes decisions or changes to ensure that a kiosk is up and running all the time.
    • Blocking: You can specify pages and programs that need to be locked and kiosk software will disable access to those particular programs and pages. Also, this property can be used for excluding any application from an automatic logout.
    • Folder Access: Also this offers the right to lock any kind of private or important folders that you wish to save from unauthorized access. It helps in keeping your folders safe and only allows desired access. All types of access can be implemented such as read-only, read-write, complete access, restricted access, etc.

Thus, kiosk software - the combination of kiosk lockdown software and kiosk management software - works in conjunction with the aforementioned features to complete the security setup of kiosks.

Why you should use Kiosk Software

Application protection is one of the imperatives of running a kiosk. It is the application protection feature of a kiosk machine which keeps it functional for years. Its specialty lies in its three-tier feature that includes the following

  1. It prevents misuse of the application by blocking unauthorized users from getting access to the operating systems.
  2. It keeps the application of kiosk operational.
  3. It eliminates the need for manual labor in the management of peripherals.

Generally, the kiosk faces a threat from the users who tend to get into the operating systems. Because the machine uses the internet to perform all the operations, it becomes important to block people from making changes to it.

Also, access to the internet increases the likelihood of users visiting harmful or potentially harmful websites or making undesirable changes to settings. The security features of the kiosk software such as kiosk lockdown software.

Kiosk management software is responsible for taking care of all the operations that are performed using the kiosk. How well kiosk management software will perform depends on the task it handles.

Some tasks necessitate kiosk to operate in conjunction with kiosk software and additional software. Kiosk management software takes care of this part.Kiosk management software looks after the smooth operation and performance of the tasks and functionalities.

Kiosk management software is the common term that includes all the pieces of software used for the management of applications or tasks. It can be classified under two heads: kiosk system software and kiosk application software.

Kiosk system software looks after the security of kiosks. It secures applications by creating security layers around them. By doing so, it discharges the responsibility of a gatekeeper. Just as a gatekeeper allows entry to only those people who are authorized, it allows users to access only as much information as approved by an administrator.

At the same time, kiosk system software also provides easy access to the administrator. It enables them to have access to their system by the combination of keys, mouse sequence or passcode.

The beauty of kiosk system software lies in the fact that it can either exist separately alongside application software or can also be a part of an application as a programmed component. Given the fact that the latter can increase the cost, as it necessitates custom development, most kiosk administrators prefer the separate use of kiosk system software.

In comparison to kiosk system software, kiosk application software performs a separate function. It promotes interaction between a kiosk and its users.

Kiosk lockdown feature takes care of the locking feature of kiosks that are operated by computers, mobiles and handheld devices such as iPad.

For the iPad, there is separate iPad kiosk software. Also, Android phones have Android kiosk software for the same purpose.

From the above, it is clear that without kiosk management software, the hardware components of kiosks that constitute it would be useless. They complement one another and work together in tandem to make a kiosk a useful machine with all the functionalities and features.

Kiosk management software takes care of the kiosk program in a way that it can operate for weeks or even months without the involvement of much manual labor. The best part about using kiosk software is that one can manage it remotely. In other words, one does not need to be before a kiosk to utilize all its functionalities.

The aforementioned facts provide sufficient food for thought to invest in kiosk software. Given the fact that a kiosk acts as the common machine for a large number of users, it is important to put a leash on what is being accessed through it and how it is done. Kiosk software ticks all the right boxes of requirements to address these needs.

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Payal PatilBy Payal Patil | Last Updated: October 27, 2020

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