Data Protection in Offline Mode

Hey gang!  Today we are going to talk about how to protect your data in FluidSurveys offline mode.

Many FluidSurveys projects require account users to gather responses through interviewing their participants in person with a mobile device. Usually, this data collection occurs in offline mode because the Internet can be unreliable, expensive or nonexistent in places that require tablet surveying.  But conducting surveys in offline mode can present several challenges to data protection.  Here are a couple of tips for making sure that the data you collect in offline mode is safe and secure!

Kiosk Mode

In many cases, an offline survey will require the respondent to fill out a survey manually on a tablet without the direct supervision or guidance of the researcher.  The main danger with this approach is that the respondent may go outside of the survey and unknowingly compromise the security and validity of the data collected.

The best way to limit the respondent’s ability to exit the survey and tamper with your device is to use Google Chrome’s ‘Kiosk Mode.’  With this feature the respondent will not be allowed to close or minimize the survey window, allowing you to rest easy knowing that your data cannot be compromised by participants.

Local Storage

On FluidSurveys offline mode, you can close your screen or even turn off your tablet in the middle of collecting data and your submitted information will not be compromised.  The reason for this being that your data is stored in a Google Chrome ‘cache.’  Unfortunately, data stored on a cache can be lost if someone clears the cache manually or the cache is deleted by a Google maintenance update.  For most projects, users opt to only use the cache to store data.  However some projects that take place over a long period of time or have a large amount of respondents require more substantial security for their databases.

Luckily, FluidSurveys has a feature to ensure your data will not be accidentally lost.  Simply make a request to FluidSurveys asking to connect your project’s Google Chrome cache to a CSV document.  This CSV will be locally stored in the device and will hold all the data found in the cache.  Each submitted response will still send its gathered information to the cache, but this data will also be automatically exported to the CSV file on your device.  In essence, this feature works as a file backup that will ensure that your data is safe no matter if your cache is cleared!

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