Data #Security is an increasingly important issue. In an age when the most sensitive of data can be stolen from us in the blink of an eye, it is essential that we all give more care to how our data is kept and understand the dangers posed by those who would seek to steal it.

Major companies such as HSBC are already developing sophisticated biometric security procedures to try and protect customers from fraud; and it is imagined that these type of security measures will inevitably become more commonplace in the months and years to come as we all fight to keep our valuable data secure.

Data security in the home

While big business is doing its best to keep the criminals at bay, there is no doubt that we all need to give equal thought to security measures and potential weaknesses in our homes. Almost everyone now uses a personal computer or some form of electronic device to connect to the internet. This in itself poses risks since we may visit sites that are designed to steal information. But it turns out that the very equipment we use to surf the net may be working against us. Bastille, a company that seeks to identify security risks, has discovered a major flaw in some wireless keyboards which make users' data very vulnerable to hackers.

What makes wireless keyboards potentially vulnerable?

In simple terms, when we use a wireless keyboard, the keystroke information is transmitted using radio frequency packages that are then sent to a receiver in the computer. The receiver then interprets the information and registers the keystrokes on the computer accordingly. Now, if this data has been sent using an encrypted system such as Bluetooth, then a hacker monitoring the airwaves with a radio dongle would need the encryption key in order to make sense of the information.

However, if the wireless keyboard doesn't encrypt the data, then it is a simple matter for a criminal to intercept the information and thus learn passwords and other sensitive data. According to Bastille, despite the known security risks, many cheap wireless keyboards are still transmitting data unencrypted. In fact, some major brands were shown to be at fault.

How can the risks be mitigated when using a wireless keyboard?

If you chose to use a wireless keyboard then ideally you'll want one that incorporates the latest technology and Bluetooth protocols. This way your data will be encrypted and highly protected from hackers. Alternatively, there's always a wired keyboard which doesn't broadcast the data at all and thus sidesteps these potential dangers.

For more information, check out Bastille's video below:

#tech #pc