When I start my morning commute, the bus is empty and I have enough privacy to catch up on “Game of Thrones”. Soon I become surrounded by grandmas, little children, and those that I can only assume have been court-ordered to not watch a fantasy TV series. In these situations I have my mouse cursor at the ready to close the window the moment a racy scene appears; and they appear without warning.
That’s why I use a 3M Privacy Filter on my laptop: to protect the public.
3M™ Privacy Filters and Screen Protectors help prevent visual hackers from getting their eyes on sensitive and confidential information displayed on smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop screens. 3M’s trusted visual privacy solutions allow users to see their screen clearly while prying eyes to the side of them see only a black screen. Featuring advanced technology developed by 3M — the visual privacy experts
Learn More About 3M™ Privacy Products
Visual hacking threat
It seems like everyone on the bus has a laptop, tablet or phone, and there is nothing preventing people from peering over your shoulder or catching a glimpse of a racy scene from an HBO fantasy franchise.
I’ve seen people enter in passwords to banking apps and social media accounts. I have also seen the names of their family members and pets, which could be used to get past security questions of many accounts. I can totally take advantage of this information, were it not for my being a journalist with award-winning integrity.
You can tell which people on the bus are important targets. There was a guy that worked at Twitter that had company logos all over his computer. Corporate laptops usually have asset tags or other telltale signs that there is information worth looking at. And I never see them use any privacy filters.
Learn More About Visual Hacking
Hacking through social engineering and visual breeches are almost impossible to track down. I need to make sure people don’t see my personal information on the bus. That’s why I physically tether my phone to my laptop and use a screen privacy filter.
The 3M Privacy Filter I use has a gold color to it, much like sporty sunglasses worn by those much hipper than myself. It has a rather wide viewing angle so that I can continue to still watch videos and write, but the person next to me can’t see what I’m doing.
When sunlight hits the filter, there is sometimes a magenta reflection that I can see.
The filter has a shiny side and a matte side, so it actually helps reduce glare caused by the sun and other lights on the bus, which increases readability.
The screen has no adhesive, which allows you to install with either the shiny or matte side facing you. The package comes with a set of plastic tabs with 3M adhesive that you can attach to your laptop screen and then slide the filter into place. The filter also has a notch cut out of it so you can easily grab it with a fingernail for easy removal. There are some air bubbles that can occur as the plastic filter connects with the screen.
The filter does not interfere with the touch capabilities with my Acer Aspire V5 laptop. I can still use multiple gestures and scroll as if the screen were not present.
The 3M privacy filter also doubles as a screen protector, which is a boon with a touch screen. Oils from the keyboard tend to get onto the laptop screen when closed, which over time etch a pattern into the screen which cannot be rubbed out.
Overall I’m impressed with the 3M Gold Privacy Filter. It’s easy to install and remove, and helps conceal sensitive information from prying eyes.
It’s really neat to watch how the privacy filters block out light, too. 3M will even send you a sample from this link: Request a Sample
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