When one thinks of “hacking”, a mastermind sitting behind a high tech computer with a multitude of wires snaking around comes to mind. What doesn't come to mind is a harmless, anonymous man sitting on the seat next to you on the bus, or your co-worker with whom you share the lift every day. Unfortunately for us, the good old-fashioned visual hacking is still around and is causing some real trouble.
The most common type of action leading to data breaches worldwide in 2017 was – you guessed that right – hacking. Stealing credentials is not that difficult, especially when all you have to do is just take a peek at the screen.
While 80% of US internet users consider cybersecurity to be very important, the statistics pointing out screen-snooping concerns are missing. This points us to a very obvious conclusion: most people do not feel threatened by visual hacking.
Remote work is gaining traction as employers are starting to see the positive results. Employees can work at a place of their choosing in a stress-free environment and consequently bolster their productivity. It is all well and good, but the question is at what price? Considering that remote workers are often seen working in cafes, restaurants, buses, and other public places, anyone can attest to how easy it is to snoop someone’s screen.
While most of us brush off the habit screen snooping as rude and annoying, it becomes a real threat when you are employed at a place that deals with confidential information. The eyes of every onlooker become a threat. Suffice to say, an effective solution that does not hinder comfort and mobility is needed.
Visual hacking predates the digital age but is still as effective as it was before. But what solutions do we have available to us?
The usual run of the mill answer
“Lock your computer when you are not using it”,
“Be aware of your surroundings”
“Don’t use public networks”, and so on.
Pointing out the obvious, these are precautionary measures, not solutions.
Also known as privacy filters, these screens work by admitting light only from certain angles. If someone sitting sideways tries to sneak a glance, they will only see a black screen.
It’s a good solution, true, but what about someone viewing from the same angle as you?
These systems work primarily through facial recognition. The software unlocks the screen as soon as it recognizes – and here is the real kicker – it keeps running in the background as long you are facing the screen. As soon as you turn away, the screen either locks or blurs. As soon as you look back at the screen, it will automatically unlock. The best part about this smart technology is if you have a peeping tom right behind you looking at the screen, the software will instantly recognize the face and alert you.
How is that for a screen snooping security measure?