The act of looking over the shoulder of a person using a computer, with the intension of looking what he is doing, or what he is typing. Looking at a users monitor, while the user (from now on: The victim) is aware of it, and permits it, it is NOT considered as shoulder surfing.

Shoulder Surfing usually occurs when a person (from now on: The Surfer) wants to find out what the victim is doing, and/or see what the victim is typing. This can include seeing (and remembering, which if hard) the victim's password, or seeing (and remembering) the victim's shadow file

How to Avoid:
  • Place your computer where you aren't bothered with potential shoulder surfers.
  • If you have your computer in a place with loads of people, try turning the monitor and/or the keyboard so that the potential surfers are in front of you. This makes it harder for them to shoulder surf.
  • Make whatever you are doing look extremely boring: Who wants to surf your shoulder when the contents of your monitor looks as interesting as a one-legged turtle with scurvy?
  • Learn a strange language: If you are reading something, use AltaVista Babelfish to translate it into a language only you know.

NOTE: Shoulder Surfing is the most common cause of people snatching your password!

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