What is a “Privacy Screen Protector”? A privacy screen protector can protect you from one of the simplest methods of “hacking” available. And no one has to be an expert or a person to use this method, also known as “shoulder surfing”.

Shoulder surfing is when a person is nearby you and can see your screen and tell what your typing, without you knowing that they are looking- This way they can watch you type in your password to your machine or your accounts online. This can be done from a close distance, via a visible or hidden camera, close to you through a window, or longer distances via telephoto lenses. Basically, if a person can observe you accessing your accounts, they are “shoulder surfing”.

Have you ever casually observed a friend, family member, or a stranger type their phone passwords or patterns in their phone? If you have, you were technically “shoulder surfing.” Just as it may be easy for you to do, this is a very common tactic for criminals to get access to accounts.

Physical Security Consideration Risk Assessments

Before we get to privacy screen filters, to combat this effectively, you must be aware of anyone suspiciously looking at what you are doing, whether they are right next to you or when they are across the room observing you. This awareness may negate the need for privacy screens if you can practice this is all the time.

Privacy screens can come as easy stick-on flexible screen film, much like putting on a screen protector for a mobile phone. They are not very expensive for what security issues they can prevent and they often double as screen protectors too! You can find them for:

  • Mobile Phones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • Desktop PC Monitors
what is privacy screen protector
A couple of examples of privacy screens. When you look at them from any direction but directly in front of them, you can’t see what is on the screen. Great when in close quarters with people like in subways, trains, or planes.

Here are some examples of them and how they work (video).

Interestingly, some devices have this filtering ability built in.

If you have desktop computer in a customer-facing front lobby that is for employee-eyes only, try a privacy filter, especially if it potentially show’s vital data of other customers or your company. Taking your business laptop to the airport? Why not a privacy filter on it too unless you’re privy to other’s watching what you do.

If you have a business phone (or you’re concerned about this on your personal phone), instead of adding a regular screen protector, why not a privacy filter that doubles as screen scratch protection? There are similar privacy filters for tablets as well as laptops too.

Here are some brands we’ve seen work well, though there are more out there than we list here:

  • Mobile Phones – Zagg InvisibleShield Privacy Glass, 3M mobile Privacy Film, Android Apps
  • Tablets – 3M mobile Privacy Film, Zagg
  • Laptops – Targus, 3M mobile Privacy Film
  • Desktop PC Monitors – Targus, 3M mobile Privacy Film, V7

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