Hey There!

Imagine you are in a crowded coffee shop, typing your password to access your email or bank account. Unbeknownst to you, someone is standing behind you, watching your every keystroke. This sneaky practice, known as shoulder surfing, severely threatens your personal information and privacy. Imagine someone knew your smartphone password; imagine everything they could do. It’s time to talk about shoulder surfing.

What is Shoulder Surfing?

Shoulder surfing is the act of spying on someone while they enter sensitive information, such as passwords or PIN codes, on their computer or smartphone. Shoulder surfing can happen anywhere, such as on public transport, in restaurants, at your workplace or even at home. Shoulder surfers can either memorize your information as you type or even use their smartphone to record you typing, putting your accounts and personal data at risk.

The Risks of Shoulder Surfing

The dangers of shoulder surfing are numerous and can lead to severe consequences. Here are just three examples:

Financial loss: With your banking credentials, a shoulder surfer can drain your bank account or make unauthorized credit card transactions.

Identity theft: By obtaining your personal information, shoulder surfers can impersonate you to access your accounts, make unauthorized transactions, or even take out loans in your name.

Data breaches: Cybercriminals can use your login information to access your company’s sensitive information, leading to potential data breaches and loss of confidential data.

Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from shoulder surfing:

Be aware of your surroundings: Always be conscious of who’s around you, especially in crowded public spaces. If you feel someone is too close for comfort, wait for them to leave or move to a more private location.

Use a privacy screen: Invest in a privacy screen for your laptop or smartphone. This will restrict the viewing angle of your screen, making it difficult for others to see your sensitive information. Just search for ‘smartphone privacy screen.’

Shield your keypad: When entering your PIN at an ATM or payment terminal, use your hand or body to block the view of potential shoulder surfers.

Use a password manager: A password manager can generate and store strong, unique passwords for your accounts. This makes it harder for shoulder surfers to memorize or capture your passwords.

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a secondary verification method, such as a fingerprint or a one-time code sent to your phone. This makes it more difficult for shoulder surfers to access your accounts.

Shoulder surfing is a very sneaky practice. You may have the best security on your computer, phone, and network, but it’s game over if somebody sees you typing in the password. 

I’m not suggesting that you stop trusting people or trust in the world you live in, but it makes sense to shield your password from prying eyes when you’re typing it in. You never know who is looking. 

Let us know if you need any help.

All the best,