Eavesdropping is Increasing Dramatically, Are You at Risk?
Information About You, Your
Family and Your Company is
Very Valuable to Others
Eavesdropping is the secret intercepting and reading of messages and conversations by other unintended persons. An eavesdropper is someone who secretly listens in to the conversations of others, often by covert means. This covert listening in and spying was prohibited as far back as ancient Saxon law; however the laws are often very difficult to enforce.
Eavesdropping is growing at a phenomenal rate, the US State Department estimates that over 700,000 of these spying devices are sold each year (estimated sales of $888 million per year) and that over 6,500 incidents of industrial espionage occur in the USA every year. Information theft is easy, safe and lucrative and business ethics are not what they were.
Congress passed the Electronic Communication Privacy Act of 1966 as recognition of the threat posed by these eavesdropping devices. This law makes it illegal for private citizens to own, manufacture, import, sell or advertise any eavesdropping device while knowing or having reason to know that the design of such devices renders it primarily useful for the purpose of the surreptitious interception of wire, oral or electronic communication and that such device or any component therefore has been or will be sent through the mail or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. The penalty for violation is a fine of up to $10,000 and/or prison for up to five years. Despite the laws sales of these devices are still increasing.
In Europe there are strong laws which govern the use of data gathered on consumersBe Alert for Warning Signs of Covert Eavesdropping or Bugging
If you notice any of the warning signs and you are concerned about covert eavesdropping or wiretapping then it would be wise to employ experts with specialised equipment to carry out a "Bug Sweep". However, do not discuss your suspicions with others unless they have a genuine need to know and do not call the experts from a suspect area, a suspect telephone, cellular telephone, or cordless phone. Understand that it is critical that you should get someone out to your location as quietly, and as quickly as possible, you do not want to alert the eavesdroppers. Discuss the problem in an area that you are confident is secure.Any indication that an adversary or competitor is using illegal means to collect information should put you on your guard that listening devices might be planted in your home or office, or in fact both.Could you be a potential target? Ask yourself – could anyone improve their wealth or influence in any way, by eavesdropping on anything you say, write, or do. If the answer is yes, then you are a potential target. Although applicable to mainly business activities, remember that eavesdropping also occurs in domestic situations.
Protecting Sensitive Verbal Information
- Check and improve the physical security of your home and office to prevent others from gaining access to install bugging/eavesdropping devices.
- Check all utility and service repair personnel with their head office to make sure that they are genuine before allowing them access to your home or office.
- Be careful where you talk about sensitive personal or business matters. Remember conversations can be easily bugged. Choose areas with loud background noises if possible, at home turn on the shower or play loud music to hide your conversations
Remember information about you, your family and your company is very valuable to others – KEEP IT SECURE.
Eavesdropping - Warning Signs
Eavesdropping - Who is at Risk
Eavesdropping - Devices
For additional information, including hundreds of tips on how to protect your family, see our NEW
'How to Protect your Family and Belongings Now'
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