Sunday

What Is "Shoulder Surfing"?

Sometimes (well, a lot of the time) we of the geeky persuasion come up with terms that seem to be designed to baffle or at least confuse "civilians". One term that comes to mind is "shoulder surfing".

Quite simply, it refers to the technique of peering over someone's shoulder while they are entering a password or PIN on a computer, smartphone, ATM, etc. 


Most of use don't pay a whole lot of attention when we do seemingly mundane things like entering a password, and it's therefore a pretty useful technique for the bad guys - particularly when a lot of us still use wimpy passwords like "password123" and the like.

This is one reason why "biometrics", such as fingerprint scanners or facial recognition (iPhone X and others) are often touted as more secure than PINs or passwords.

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