An input control is the component that is used to achieve interactivity in a form. They enable a user to undertake several functions. There are many uses of input controls. Some of the common uses of input controls include such things as typing text into the computer, selecting items on a form, and getting files uploaded to a system. They are used to limit the input that users can enter items to a form. Input controls also provide a platform in which data is entered to the system by the user. In most cases, they act as a guide in the process of entering the data to the computer system. This is because most of the data that are to be entered to the system should follow a given format. Input controls help users enter the data using the stipulated formats from the computer. Some examples of input controls include such controls as text input, select box, password control, and radio button (Sandhu, 2009).
Most of the input controls are visual which help users in their interaction procedures. There are some input controls which are hidden. They are used when system data that are critical are to be stored. One such system data which is critical is the database key. This should not be allowed for free interaction with the user. This is where hidden controls are used.
There are four types of input controls. One of the types of input control is audit trails. This is the control that is used to store the data source in the form. The control keeps track of the data that entered the system and when this data was entered to the system. The audit trails are essentially the collection of events that are undertaken by the operating system. They are composed of the activities of the user and applications that have been installed in the computer. One of the uses of audit trails includes monitoring problems. They are used to track problems that can occur in the computer or while processing online transactions. This process of monitoring is important when solving problems like that of failures of disks, over-utilization of the system. Another function of audit trail input controls is to reconstruct events. Audit trails are used to reconstruct events that contributed to the problem occurring. This is an important process for the computer system. A system problem will be traced to where it started so that it can be corrected. They are used mostly in financial transactions, scientific research, and healthcare information processing management. Audit trail process is undertaken in privilege mode so that all the activities of the users will be tracked and known to the tracker.
Another type of input control is password security input control. This is the input control that is used to ensure that there is password compliance for security purposes. This type of input control is used to manage the process of creating the password, the length of the password, the combination of characters for the password, and password log to record the attempts to log into the system. Instances where the user will enter passwords with invalid lengths of the field, characters which are invalid, data which are erroneous, and formats which are not correct, are controlled with the use of this control. In general, they are used to ensure that the authentication of the password and the authorization is valid and to the point. Most of the password controls use a special text-inbox to enter the password. They are not text-inbox per se but password boxes (Kevin, & Bennett, 2011).
Another type of input control is data validation input control. Data validation is the process of ensuring that the data that is entered to the form is valid and correct. They also ensure that the data is secure to the system. This is following the requirement that a system should operate data which is secure, correct, and clean. There are rules of validation which are used to ensure that the data is correct, meaningful, and secure as they are being entered to the system. The rules are implemented through dictionary automated processes and also through validation logic. Data that does not meet the integrity issues will have a negative effect in the entry of data to the system. This will lead to integrity problems with the data entry to the system. This will make the data owners lose some information due to data integrity. Data validation process starts with the definition of the business process. Incorrect validation of data will lead to data corruption and vulnerabilities due to security issues that will come up in the system.
The fourth type of input control is encryption input control. Encryption is the process where information is hidden so that the eavesdroppers will not get a chance to access this information. Users who will want to access this information will be required to have a private and public key that will enable them use that information. They are used by that user alone. When the user gets the message, they will use the private key to access the data.
One error that can occur when data integrity is not exercised in input control is the failure to encrypt an email that is sent over a network. there are issues that will arise in the process. One of the issues that will occur when this is not taken into consideration is interception of data. The email will be intercepted and data loss will occur. There are departments and organizations like the department of defense which will have to use secure data processes. It is important to have procedures and processes that will secure information (Eberts, 2004).
There are advantages that come with restricting users to input data to computer forms. One of the advantages is that the functionalities that can be used are defined with the use of restrictions. The users will be able to access controls basing on their privileges. User interface restrictions on most user interfaces will disable some options for the computer use. One of the advantages is security of the data. A user interface that is restricted will be based on the organizational structure. Restrictions of users will restrict the access of some assets and resources of the organizations from unauthorized access. This will ensure that there is information security and integrity of the data. Another advantage is that it is a form of control so that some platforms cannot be misused by some people. One example is that some applications are not allowed for some age groups.
One disadvantage of using interface restrictions is that of locking authorized users from using the interface. This will occur if the restrictions are done incorrectly. This will affect the productivity of the organization.
Eberts., R. E. (2004). User interface design . Prentice-Hall International.
Kevin B. Bennett, J. M. (2011). Display and Interface Design:. CRC Press.
Sandhu, R. H. (2009). Identification and Authentication. In Computer Security Handbook. John Wiley & Sons.