An Overview Of Shoulder Surfing Prevention In Cybersecurity
By Tom Seest
At BestCybersecurityNews, we help young learners and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.
Shoulder surfing is a low-tech cyberattack that allows thieves to view passwords, answers to security questions, and other private data – including bank account passwords – in real time and use this information to empty bank accounts, hijack accounts, and compromise identities.
Shoulder surfing can be avoided with privacy screen filters that limit viewing angles. Furthermore, communication apps that provide end-to-end encryption could also prove effective in stopping such intrusions.
This photo was taken by Kampus Production and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-person-using-a-gate-keypad-6682880/
Table Of Contents
- Should You Use Two-Factor Authentication to Prevent Shoulder Surfing In Cybersecurity?
- Should You Protect Your Passwords to Prevent Shoulder Surfing In Cybersecurity?
- Should You Protect Your Devices to Prevent Shoulder Surfing In Cybersecurity?
- Should You Avoid Public Wi-Fi to Prevent Shoulder Surfing In Cybersecurity?
Shoulder surfers can easily steal passwords by watching you type them out in public. Once they obtain your data, they could use it to empty your bank account, gain entry to other accounts, and compromise your identity. You can protect against shoulder surfers by creating strong passwords with two-factor authentication or using password managers that generate strong passwords that are stored safely within an encrypted vault – making it harder for cybercriminals to break into your accounts.
Shoulder surfing can also be prevented with a privacy shield on your device, such as a matte screen protector. Such shields make it more difficult for shoulder surfers to view your screen from off-center positions while simultaneously reducing glare and reflections from it. Furthermore, when making payments or signing into sensitive accounts via your phone, you can activate its passcode lock feature to stop shoulder surfers from spying on what you are doing.
When discussing confidential matters in person or over the phone, it’s also a good idea to keep the volume lower when speaking confidentially with other individuals. Utilizing messaging apps with end-to-end encryption will also reduce the risk of shoulder surfers listening in on and stealing confidential conversations.
Never log in to your mobile banking app, email account, or other online accounts using public Wi-Fi networks without using a personal VPN to protect yourself from hackers and cybercriminals that might lurk nearby. A VPN encrypts data while protecting against potential hacker threats lurking around in public places.
Two-factor authentication will protect against shoulder surfers obtaining your passwords but won’t prevent them from stealing other types of information, such as responses to security questions or other personal details that you store on your phone or write down in physical form. To protect your privacy, avoid keeping this type of data stored either digitally or physically.
If you suspect shoulder surfing has affected you, contact your financial institution immediately. As soon as it knows about the crime, banks can act swiftly to address it and restore any funds lost as a result of an attack. Furthermore, freeze your credit to ensure criminals do not open new accounts under your name.
This photo was taken by Jill Burrow and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/metal-gate-and-wooden-door-in-sunlight-6387815/.
Once in an airport lounge, you decide to kill some time online by accessing company systems and accounts from a public device. As you enter your username and password, you don’t notice the woman sitting nearby using binoculars to spy on your screen and capture your information – something she could then use against you by making purchases using stolen credit card details that put you into significant debt; she could even sell this information on dark web marketplaces for further financial damage later down the line. Identity theft can take months or years to resolve properly and negatively affect both renting an apartment, obtaining loans, or finding work compared to before!
Always ensure your passwords are kept secure when shoulder surfing; any mistake could allow criminals to empty your bank account, use your details for illegal activity, and even steal identities.
Avoid public Wi-Fi altogether and utilize a VPN service when in public areas; alternatively, password managers with encrypted connections could provide the best protection in such instances.
Many tablets and smartphones today feature fingerprint scanning or facial recognition technology that prevents unauthorized users from accessing them, providing an additional layer of security against shoulder surfers. This type of technology has also become increasingly prevalent on laptops.
Some devices feature voice recognition software that makes it virtually impossible to hack. This provides another layer of protection against visual hacking as it makes it extremely hard for someone else to copy your voice and copy it themselves.
As a good practice, it is also wise to create short passwords for the most essential accounts and update them frequently to reduce the chance that their information could be compromised by shoulder surfers. Furthermore, writing down and keeping all of your passwords would also be wise.
This photo was taken by Anna Shvets and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-black-head-mask-beside-a-steel-security-stick-6899295/.
As technology plays an increasingly vital role in people’s daily lives, it becomes even more crucial that appropriate precautions be taken when sharing personal data online. These may include passwords, security questions, two-factor authentication, and other preventive measures.
One key thing to keep in mind about shoulder surfing is its prevalence in public areas where individuals may enter sensitive data such as PIN pads, kiosks where mobile devices or laptops may be utilized, and ATMs where bank details may be entered by entering bank details themselves.
Thieves have become experts at hiding behind you to see what you are doing and to record all of the data entered onto a screen – they can skim PINs, capture responses to security questions, eavesdrop on conversations, and more.
Some of the methods they can employ to steal information include miniature cameras, binoculars, and smartphone cameras. Furthermore, hackers could access your Wi-Fi to monitor your activity.
Enhancing security measures on devices to ward off shoulder surfers is the only effective way to keep them away. Utilizing a password manager app is an efficient and effective way of doing just this, creating random strings of characters that will then be entered when needed, eliminating the need to type passwords yourself and making shoulder surfing impossible.
Also, it is advisable to enable the “lock” feature on your device. This can be accomplished by accessing its settings and activating this function; doing so will keep the screen locked until a valid login credential has been validated, preventing anyone from accessing your device without authorization.
As another method to add additional security measures, matte screen protectors offer another solution. They reduce visibility from different angles and glare, making it harder for shoulder surfers to read your screen.
Signing up for identity theft monitoring is another effective way of guarding against shoulder surfing, as this allows you to detect any changes on your credit report that might indicate a breach and take immediate steps against it.
This photo was taken by Mikhail Nilov and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-man-holding-alphabet-keys-of-computer-keyboard-6964166/.
Shoulder surfing is an effective technique used by cybercriminals to collect personal information. By simply watching you use your keyboard, they can steal usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and answers to security questions – giving cyber criminals access to accounts under false names – potentially leading to financial loss, identity theft, and damage to your credit score.
Shoulder surfers can steal your data by directly observing you or by using binoculars, cameras, or other devices to observe your screen. They may then record keystrokes and audio to gain entry to your account details. There are ways you can protect yourself from these types of attacks – for instance, when entering sensitive information on public computers or laptops, using privacy shields may help obscure their view so someone observing from an unusual angle won’t make out what you are typing; alternatively, password managers generate strong passwords automatically and store them safely – making both strategies effective.
Two-step verification can add an extra layer of security to your accounts and prevent shoulder surfers from accessing them without proper verification of identity using another method. Alternatively, virtual private networks (VPN) provide extra encryption on public Wi-Fi, which is more susceptible to attacks than private Wi-Fi connections.
One way to avoid shoulder surfing is by not disclosing personal information in public places, like Wi-Fi hotspots. Also, try not logging in to your bank account on public Wi-Fi and sharing passwords with anyone. Likewise, using a privacy shield on mobile phones and laptops to block unauthorized viewers from seeing your screen can help prevent shoulder surfing; additionally, cover ATM keypads when entering PIN numbers to provide more security when entering PIN numbers and use single sign-on password managers, biometric authentication or two-factor authentication to bolster cybersecurity measures.
This photo was taken by Laura Tancredi and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/row-of-metal-rods-of-fence-7078857/.
Please share this post with your friends, family, or business associates who may encounter cybersecurity attacks.