Business travelers, beware: Hackers looking over your shoulder can cause data breaches

Some 80% of business travelers say visual hacking is a threat, according to a 3M report.

5 tips for keeping your data safe while traveling

Visual hacking—when someone can see information on your screen over your shoulder without your knowledge—is a major cybersecurity threat to business travelers, especially in the GDPR era, according to a Monday report from 3M and SMS Research.

Some 80% of the 1,000 business travelers surveyed worldwide said they consider visual hacking to be a threat. However, many are not doing anything to fight against it, the report found.

SEE: Business pro's guide to hassle-free travel (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

"Business travelers recognize the risk but aren't leveraging effective safeguards against it," Jessica Walton, global business manager of 3M, said in a press release. "As a result, unprotected screens can be the weak link in a company's IT security efforts."

More than three-quarters of business travelers surveyed said they display company information on their screen in airports or on a train, and more than two-thirds admitted to doing so while riding the bus or subway, the survey found.

Two out of three business travelers said they have noticed someone looking at their screen in one of these situations, the survey found. More than one in three said they have seen business information on exposed screens when traveling themselves. However, more than 30% said their organization has not educated them on how to protect sensitive information displayed on their screens while traveling.

Business travelers said they believe nearly one in three data breaches occur because of visual hacking, according to the survey.

One option to stop visual hacking is to install a privacy filter on your devices. Business travelers should also be wary of accessing confidential information while in a public setting, and aware of who is nearby who could potentially see.

For more, check out How to stay cybersecure while traveling for business: 6 tips on TechRepublic. 

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