Have you ever heard of shoulder surfing? This term refers to the practice of someone looking over your shoulder in order to gain access to sensitive information that's on your phone or computer. This can be done physically or remotely through technology. It's an increasingly common form of identity theft and can have serious consequences, so it's important to be aware of how to protect yourself from it.
What is Shoulder Surfing?
Shoulder surfing is a type of visual spying where someone looks over your shoulder without your knowledge in order to view private information such as passwords, bank details, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. This can occur when using devices such as computers, tablets, or smartphones, and even when accessing physical documents like paperwork.
It's often done without the victim's knowledge, which makes it difficult to detect. Criminals may try to look over your shoulder while you are typing in passwords or PIN codes, or they may use cameras or binoculars to get a better view. In some cases, they may even enlist the help of a third party who works in the same area as you.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Shoulder Surfing?
Be aware of your surroundings: Be mindful of who is around you when entering any confidential information into a device or document. Make sure that no one is standing behind you or close enough to see what you are doing.
Cover up keypads: When entering a PIN code or password, cover the keypad with your hand or body to make it harder for anyone to view the numbers. Many ATMs now include privacy guards to block people from seeing what you're typing in.
Use anti-shoulder surfing software: Anti-shoulder surfing software can be installed on computers and mobile devices to prevent criminals from monitoring your activity. The software works by blocking out the screen when someone moves too close to it, making it impossible to read the displayed information.
Install surveillance systems: Installing surveillance cameras, alarms, and motion detectors can alert you to any suspicious activity in your home or workplace. This will give you extra peace of mind and make it harder for criminals to carry out shoulder surfing.
Physical protection: Consider using shields and covers to protect physical documents from prying eyes. There are also products available that offer more secure ways to store sensitive information, such as cabinets with biometric locks.
Secure your Wi-Fi network: Ensure that your wireless network is secure and encrypted so that criminals cannot access it. Most modern routers allow you to set up a password and enable encryption protocols to keep your data safe.
Stay vigilant: Be wary of strangers asking you questions about your personal information or trying to get too close to your computer or mobile device. Always report any suspicious behaviour to the authorities.
The Role of Experts in Preventing Shoulder Surfing
Experts in the field of cybersecurity can play an important role in preventing shoulder surfing. They are able to provide advice and assistance on how to best protect yourself from this kind of criminal activity, as well as helping to identify and investigate any potential breaches.
Cybersecurity professionals can advise on the latest strategies for keeping your data secure, such as encryption software and two-factor authentication, and can help to educate people on the risks associated with shoulder surfing. They can also provide solutions for detecting potential threats, such as monitoring for unusual activity on networks or identifying any suspicious attempts to access information.
Shoulder surfing is a serious threat to your security and privacy, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions such as covering up keypads when entering confidential information. You should also consider installing anti-shoulder surfing software and surveillance systems, as well as securing your Wi-Fi network. Finally, don't forget to enlist the help of experts if necessary.