This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of 3M Company. All opinions are 100% mine.
When it comes to visual privacy, 3M has a solution: The Easy-On Privacy Filter, which is designed to keep people from prying into your business when you are out in public. We got our hands on a privacy filter for the iPad (the iPad Air, to be precise), and checked out how it really affects your iPad use. Here are the results.
The Privacy Filter: Application and Results
For the iPad, the 3M privacy filter is a simple, strip-and-stick affair. The filter itself comes with a set of three sticky strips and a small wipe ready to get rid of dust. You will want to give your iPad surface a very thorough cleaning before applying the strips.
If you are thinking about one of your traditional, paste-on protection screens, think again. The 3M privacy filter is a thicker, simpler product, and you definitely don’t have to worry about rolling out bubbles or waiting for it to “set.” As you can see, we applied the privacy shield to an iPad that already had a protection screen on it, will no ill effects, so it can work even if you already have a screen protector.
While there are three strips in the iPad package, you only need two of them – the third strip is a spare if something goes wrong. Here the privacy filter differs from the average screen protector, because you start by applying the sticky strips to the filter instead of your iPad itself. Stick on the strips, strip off the protective plastic, and you’re ready to go.
Here is where the “easy-on” part of the filter lives up to its name. There’s a slight rigidity to the filter, which makes it easy to align on the iPad screen – there are slots for the camera and home button, and the whole thing is generally easy to line up and put down. No fear exists of accidentally creating ripples or bubbles, because they just aren’t possible here.
Appearance and Use
The goal of the filter is to darken the screen from an angle to others can’t see what you’re working on, but not making the experience any different for you. Here the iPad filter is mostly effective: Visually, there is very little impact on clarity, it doesn’t distort anything. As may be expected, brightness is an issue even when facing the iPad head-on, so you will want to increase your brightness to make up for the effect, as we did.
At an angle, the privacy filter works as promised, quickly darkening the screen and giving other viewers little more than a reflective, blank surface. You can turn the screen to portrait orientation to easily share with others, but if you want to work alone, keep it in landscape. If someone wants to casually peep at what you are doing, they are much more likely to see their own face staring back at them than any real information…which brings us to the dangers of visual hacking.
The World of Visual Hacking
The term “visual hacking” (Learn More About Visual Hacking) sounds menacing on its own, but it’s actually a very low-tech – and pervasive – problem. You see, one of the easiest ways to spy on people is simply to look over their shoulder and see what they are doing without them realizing it.
This is a danger because there’s no firewall or virus program that can protect information from someone else’s eyeballs, especially in more public areas (your cafes, your open plan offices, etc.). As a result, someone can peek at your work or even record it, and note your login information, what banks you use, your personal projects, your company’s data management system, and much more. This in turn leads to
Finding Visual Privacy
The solution to visual hacking is increased visual privacy, which is why 3M offers privacy screens for a variety of different devices. These screens work via proximity, orientation, and screen angle, protecting information from most direct visual threats. The work that 3M has put into its privacy filters really shows here, because there aren’t that many other effective solutions out on the market.
Bottom Line: Privacy Filters
Whether you manage employees who work on sensitive data (especially with a BYOD policy) or have your own projects that you would rather protect, check out privacy filters to protect your information. Compared to other security options, this is a relatively simple and affordable solution. It’s easy to apply and won’t break the budget – plus it can also act as a screen protector if you don’t already have one.