In an average year I’ll tally 75,000 airline miles. In an average week while waiting for the plane to board or while in flight I’ll see multiple laptop screens flipped open with an over the shoulder view of emails being sent and received, PowerPoint presentations being tweaked, proposals being written and various client and employee records being crawled through. The fact is, I’m a good guy with no bad intentions, but I can’t help seeing what I see, it’s distracting. The screens are bright and propped right in my face. If I was a bad guy, this would be considered “visual hacking”.

2PHacking can be done without viruses: with just one’s eyes. The visual hacker prowls the public, seeking out computer screens displaying sensitive data. The company 3M now offers the ePrivacy Filter. This software, when paired with a traditional 3M Privacy Filter, which blacks out content that can be viewed from side angles where hackers can lurk, alerts the user to snoops peering over their shoulders from just about every angle. I’m seeing more and more of these in flight. Which frankly, is nice, and less distracting.

More people will merely state that they prize visual privacy than will actually do something to protect this, according to a recent 3M study. The study revealed that 80 percent of the professionals who responded believed that prying eyes posed at least some threat to their employers.

Strangely, most of these workers opted not to give their visual privacy any protection when they were accessing information with an unprotected computer in a public location of high traffic.

Employees have a funny way of asserting a belief but acting otherwise. This shows that businesses need to educate employees on the risks of data leaking out to visual hackers.

The fact is employees more mobile than ever. And with corporate secrets being Wikileaked, “Snowdened”, and just plain hacked, customers require more assurance than ever that their data is protected.

An ePrivacy Filter, coupled with a laptop or desktop privacy filter helps protect visual privacy from virtually every angle. Compatible with devices that use Windows operating systems, the ePrivacy Filter will alert the user to an over-the-shoulder snooper with a pop-up image of his or her face, identifying the privacy offender. However, you don’t have to worry about your data if you step or look away briefly. The screen will be blurred and will only unlock when you return thanks to its intelligent facial recognition feature.

Please, stop hijacking my attention and get a privacy filter.

Robert Siciliano is a Privacy Consultant to 3M discussing Identity Theft and Privacy on YouTube. Disclosures.

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