Because different polls may require different levels of security, PollMaker allows you to determine the level of security that is right for your polls. If you are collecting sensitive data, such as credit card information or Social Security numbers, you would want to apply greater security than you would if you were collecting anonymous data about the personal interests of your respondents. PollMaker provides the flexibility to address the security needs of your polling data and your poll definitions.

PollMaker provides two different features that together determine the level of security for a poll:

EncryptKey Property

The EncryptKey property is the first security feature provided by PollMaker. Using the Properties Grid in Poll Designer (figure 1), you can set the value of this property for a poll to either "True" or "False." When the default setting of "False" is used, the poll result data files generated by your poll are encrypted with a 48-bit strong encryption algorithm using an application-defined cipher key (for more information on poll result data files, see Manage Poll Data). If you set the EncryptKey property to "True," the same 48-bit strong encryption algorithm is used to encrypt the poll result data files, but you must provide a Master password (see Poll Passwords below) that PollMaker uses as the cipher-key. These encryption algorithms prevent your poll data from being accessed by unauthorized persons.

Figure 1:  Poll Designer Properties Grid for a Poll showing the EncryptKey Property


Poll Passwords

PollMaker provides a second security feature by allowing you to specify up to five different passwords for a poll. Each of these passwords corresponds to a different level of poll functionality. As a result, when one or more of these passwords are specified, the actions that a person can take in relation to the poll will be determined by the password that he provides. The five passwords and their corresponding actions include:

Password Related Functionality Suggested Use
MASTER User may perform all actions within the poll Top-Level Personnel
EDIT User may edit the poll definition file which contains the poll's structure Poll Designers and above
MANAGE User may manage poll's response data using Poll Manager, including backing-up, restoring, exporting and dumping poll results Mid-Level Personnel
RUN User may launch a poll on a kiosk Kiosk Operators and End-Level Personnel
REPORTS User may run poll reports but does not have full access to the poll results data Kiosk Operators and End-Level Personnel

Therefore, if you have personnel with different roles related to a poll, you can use passwords to limit each person's actions to only those required by her role. For example, if you have a person that is solely responsible for running a poll on a kiosk, you can set the "Run" password for that poll. When this person uses the "Run" password, he can launch the poll, but he cannot change the poll design or view the poll response data. In Poll Designer, you can set these passwords in the Poll Passwords Dialog Box (figure 2).

Figure 2: Poll Designer Poll Passwords Dialog Box

Different Levels of Security

The combination of these two settings lets you determine the level of security that is applied to a poll. The default settings of "False" for the EncryptKey property and no poll passwords provide a minimum level of security for all polls. This level of security provides protection against the unauthorized viewing of your poll data files and is adequate for the majority of polls. On the other end of the spectrum, the maximum level of security for a poll is provided by setting the EncryptKey property to "True." This setting requires that you specify a Master password that will be used as the cipher-key in the encryption algorithm. As a result, all poll activities, from running the poll to editing the poll definition and viewing the poll data, will require the Master password. This level of encryption is stronger because a user provided cipher-key is used versus an application specified cipher-key.

Intermediate levels of security can be provided by setting the EncryptKey property to "False" and utilizing one or more of the poll passwords. The base level of encryption is applied to the poll data, but you can restrict access to PollMaker functions depending on the passwords that you use.

Even the minimum level of security, provides strong protection for your poll data, but PollMaker allows you to decide how much additional security is required for your polls and polling data.


Return to Poll Management and Execution.



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