I want to clear up any confusion/misinformation surrounding the security aspects of SAM and Deep Freeze, as well as give you our (NFLS/OWLSnet) official recommendation for patrons logging out of SAM. Hopefully this will get everyone on the same page and allow for the most efficient use of your public computers.
The creators of the SAM software have informed us that the only two things SAM does when a patron logs out are: 1) close any open programs; 2) clear the browsing history/cache of Internet Explorer. This means that any data/files a patron downloaded to the computer will remain on the computer unless they delete it and then empty the Recylcle Bin (aka: Trash). Also, if a library puts another browser (i.e. Chrome) on a public computer, that browsing history will not be cleared.
For those who do not know, the Deep Freeze software is the one that clears everything upon a reboot/shutdown, returning the computer to it original and clean condition (meaning, how I configured it in my office before any patrons touched it). Thus, every night when the computers are turned off, they are wiped clean of that day's activity.
It would seem like the safest thing would be to reboot the PCs after every patron; however, there are complications. SAM was created to run continuously in order to maintain an accurate and efficient schedule. Every time a SAM-controlled computer reboots, there is a chance that it will not re-establish proper communications with the SAM Activity Manager/SignUp Station. If this happens, the schedule can get jumbled and a patron my have to wait an extra 30 minutes. Often times, it also requires staff and Tech Support to get involved, like when I have to correct those "PC IS DOWN" messages. Lastly, there is the actual time it takes to reboot the machine, which is especially cumbersome when patrons are waiting.
Due to all of the potential problems rebooting could cause, we recommend that the patrons not reboot the computer after use; they will need to be responsible for cleaning up any of their personal data/history.
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