SHOULDER SURFING involves looking over someone's shoulder, to get information. It is commonly used to obtain passwords, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), security codes, and other similar data.
Shoulder Surfing can also be done from a distance using vision enhancing devices such as binoculars. Cameras can also be installed in ceilings, walls, other fixtures or ATMs to capture the entry of security codes or PINS. It has become a much greater threat due to the prevalence of mobile phones equipped with cameras and video recorders.
Tips to prevent Shoulder Surfing:
- Cover your hand, thereby shielding the number pad, when entering your PIN at an ATM or point of sale terminal. Make a habit of doing this even when you are alone.
- Stand as close as possible to the ATM or point of sale terminal so that your body will also act as a shield as you enter your PIN.
- Never reveal your PIN to anyone.
- Never note your PIN on your card nor on a document that is kept together with your card.
- Never use a code that is easy to crack (such as a date of birth or a series of ciphers that follow one another).
- Be aware of your surroundings when required to enter security codes, passwords, PINs or while completing forms with personal data. Be particularly vigilant in crowded places, cyber cafes, banks or while using public transportation.