Shoulder Surfing: The Dangers

What is shoulder surfing?

We’ve all heard about the dangers of being watched when you’re withdrawing money from an ATM. The machines themselves have warnings plastered all over them – ‘shield your pin to avoid theft’– and in general we tend to take the necessary precautions.

What is shoulder surfing?What you might not have heard about is ‘shoulder surfing’. This is when information thieves use observation techniques to purposely try and steal data from your device while you browse. Whether that is by peering over your shoulder to look at your mobile phone or tablet on a crowded train, looking at your computer screen across a busy office or watching you through binoculars while you are using one of these devices.

The dangers of shoulder surfing?

We are all at risk when it comes to shoulder surfing. If the wrong person becomes privy to sensitive information or data, it can cause you a multitude of problems. It could lead to theft of your debit card details while you are innocently online shopping. Of course this issue could be easily remedied by cancelling your card and you’d come out relatively unscathed – although potentially with a lighter wallet depending on your bank’s policy.

Identity theft or the loss of other people’s data – in an office environment for example – is another story. The former can lead to financial, legal or credit issues while the latter could cause animosity or legal concerns in the office if, for instance, HR files are revealed – salaries, confidential data etc.

How to combat it

Luckily, it is possible to protect your private information and that of others that you are responsible for. Firstly, we would advise that you only access these documents or use your debit card online when you are in the privacy of your own home or using a computer which faces a wall where possible at work.

Of course, it isn’t always possible to take these precautions, depending on your office layout or what is happening at the time. In these circumstances, a privacy screen will come in handy.

Privacy screens

PrivaScreen privacy filters enhance your privacy by making your screen appear ‘blacked out’ when viewed from a 30 degree angle. Only somebody standing directly in front of the device (you) will be able to view your data. Whether you’re looking to protect your desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, PrivaScreen has filters in all shapes and sizes.


See more:

Learn more about privacy protection

See our range of Privacy Filters

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