In today’s digital age, cyber threats come in various forms, and one such threat that many people overlook is shoulder surfing. Shoulder surfing is a type of cyber attack that involves looking over someone’s shoulder to gain access to sensitive or confidential information. In this blog, we will discuss what shoulder surfing is, how it can affect cybersecurity, and ways to prevent it.
What Is Shoulder Surfing?
Shoulder surfing is a technique used by cybercriminals to steal sensitive information, such as passwords, PINs, credit card numbers, or other confidential data, by observing their target’s activities over their shoulder or from a distance. The attackers use this information to gain unauthorized access to systems or accounts and to conduct fraudulent activities. Shoulder surfing can happen anywhere, from public places like coffee shops, airports, or libraries, to private spaces like offices or homes.
How Does Shoulder Surfing Affect Cybersecurity?
Shoulder surfing poses a significant risk to cybersecurity as it undermines the security and privacy of confidential data, potentially leading to its manipulation or disclosure. Once an attacker obtains confidential data, they can use it to steal money, data, or identities, or to launch more sophisticated attacks, such as social engineering or phishing. In addition, shoulder surfing can lead to reputational damage, loss of trust, and legal or regulatory consequences, especially if the attacker gains access to personal, financial, or medical information.
Ways to Prevent Shoulder Surfing
Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent shoulder surfing and enhance cybersecurity:
Be aware of your surroundings – Always be cautious of your surroundings and avoid displaying sensitive information in public areas.
Use privacy screens – Privacy screens are protective covers that can be placed on computer monitors or mobile devices to prevent shoulder surfing. These screens obscure the view from angles other than straight on.
Use complex passwords – Create complex passwords that are difficult to guess, and avoid writing them down or sharing them with others.
Enable two-factor authentication – Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide additional authentication factors, such as a code sent to their phone, in addition to their password.
Avoid public Wi-Fi – Public Wi-Fi networks are often insecure and can be easily hacked, so avoid using them for sensitive activities.
Shoulder surfing is a real threat to cybersecurity that can compromise the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information. To prevent shoulder surfing, it is essential to be aware of your surroundings, use privacy screens, create complex passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and avoid public Wi-Fi. By taking these steps, you can reduce the risk of shoulder surfing and protect yourself and your organization from cyber threats.