Did you know that more than half of people surveyed said their visual privacy had been violated*? Yes! 69% in the workplace; 55% while traveling; 51% in public areas. This is part of a growing problem termed Visual Hacking. Visual privacy and visual hacking can be a problem in both our work lives AND in our personal lives. Our data is sensitive and we don't want random, and perhaps malicious, people accessing it.
To help you wrap your head around these concepts, here are some definitions:
- Visual privacy is the issue of of sensitive information being accessed visually via screens creating a security risk for organizations
- Visual hacking is the active threat of sensitive, confidential or private information being viewed or captured for unauthorized use (Learn More About Visual Hacking)
Not fun, right? When we work on our smartphones, tablets, laptop and desktop screens, sensitive information can be displayed. Not only is our personal information like banking data and health information displayed, but the data for the companies we work for is also at risk. In this age of tech mobility, we now work at so many places from our desks, to our commutes, to the coffee shop. While that is very convenient for us, it also means there are even more chances for information to be intercepted. With more and more workers working on the go, companies are at a greater threat of visual hacking.
I know there have been several times where I have been working on my laptop in a public area and could feel eyes next to and behind me glancing at my screen. It makes me very uncomfortable when the person sitting next to me at the gate in the airport looks at my screen and it SHOULD make me uncomfortable. There is no way to know if that person is just bored and curious about what I'm working on or if he has ill intent and is looking to steal data.
Luckily, there are safeguards we can use to prevent visual hacking. 3M Privacy Filters and Screen Protectors help ensure visual privacy and the security of sensitive information displayed on smartphones, tablets, laptop and desktop screens. While you can still clearly see what you're working on, people to the side of the screen see only a black or gold screen.
Earlier this year, we received the 3M™ PF21.5W9 Privacy Filter for Widescreen Desktop LCD Monitor for Mario to put to the test at work. His workspace is in a high traffic zone where co-workers are constantly zooming around. That can make him feel uncomfortable when he is on a much-needed break and has personal information up on the screen. If he is looking at his work benefits, his 401K balance is prominently displayed on the default page in a large font for everyone to see.
No one needs their co-workers all in their personal business! Before the 3M privacy filter was installed he would have to plan to log in during the early mornings to look at his benefits in privacy. If he forgot and got preoccupied with something else as he sat down, he lost his opportunity! With the filter in place he doesn't have to wait for that small window of the day – he has privacy all day long. You can see the difference in these photos from looking at the side at the monitor with the privacy screen on the left vs looking at it straight on in the photo below.
While that example is how he keeps his personal info private at work, the same would be true out of the office with a work laptop protected with a 3M Privacy Filter. While working on data that may be sensitive to the company, prying eyes would be prevented from seeing what's on the screen. So important! You can see the 3M Privacy Filter in action in this video:
If you’re responsible for IT in your organization, installing 3M Privacy Filters on employee devices can help you prevent visual hacking that could lead to serious data breaches that could cost your company dearly. In the meantime, workers can continue to be productive and efficient.
Concerned about visual privacy in your organization? Request a Sample to see how 3M Privacy Filters can help you.
Have you ever felt the threat of visual hacking?
*“The Visual Privacy Productivity Study.” Ponemon Institute, October 2012.