April 20, 2015

Visual Hacking: The Eyes Have It

By Jennifer Paradise

Someone looking over your shoulder is not a comforting feeling. Think about where it can happen. You can be on a plane flipping through a magazine, at a coffee shop reading the news on your laptop, or at the office reading emails. Wait a second. At the office reading emails? Absolutely! If this has happened to you then you've been visually hacked. Another person's wandering eye is one of the most common yet one of the most overlooked forms of gaining access to personal information.

How do we protect ourselves from visual hackers?

  1. Be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Educate yourself and others.
  3. Keep a "clean desk" policy. When you leave your workspace, remove documents on your desk from view and lock or turn off device screens.
  4. Set screen savers and timeouts on computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices.
  5. Require the use of privacy screen protectors on device screens.
  6. Identify at-risk employees who travel frequently or work outside of the office, and discuss rules for working on sensitive information when away from work.

If you have questions about visual hacking, please contact the Support Center at mysupport.svsu.edu, support@svsu.edu, or x4225.