This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of 3M Company. All opinions are 100% mine.

Don’t look now, but… you can’t really stop people from looking.

Small screens are everywhere – and, with them, everything of yours is at risk. 

Okay, maybe that’s a bit hyperbolic, but I’m feeling particularly hyper today – so, deal with it. 

If you happen to use a computing device that has some kind of screen attached to it, every bit of data that you push across the screen can be seen by anybody who happens to be walking by (or sitting across the room from you with an insanely powerful zoom lens). 

I know what you’re thinking: “Hey! My computer has a screen on it! I’m at risk!”

Yes, you are.

But you might also be thinking: “Wait! I don’t use a computer! I use a smartphone or a tablet!”

What if I told you that smartphones and tablets were computers, too? Sure, we don’t call them computers or set up dedicated rooms in our homes for them (remember having a “computer room”?!) – but they’re computing devices nonetheless. Trust me. They are. Hardware + Software = Computer. I’m not even sure that’s a coherent sentence, but my point stands. 

Have you ever heard of visual hacking? Seriously, I’m not making this part up. It sounds physically painful, but it’s actually “the active threat of sensitive, confidential or private information being viewed or captured for unauthorized use.” Then, there’s visual privacy (which doesn’t sound as bad but is equally as significant). That’s “the issue of of sensitive information being accessed visually via screens creating a security risk for organizations.”

This is a growing concern, given that these systems are used heavily on a daily basis – potentially anywhere possible. This is a legit threat to organizations, but there is a way for you (or leadership in your company) to take action.

Step 1: Stop screaming.

Step 2: Keep reading.

So, how can you protect your screen from prying eyes? I’ve said (again and again) that the best way to keep something 100% private is to not share it beyond your thoughts. 

Of course, I’ve only said that to myself – but I’m telling you now that you’re probably your own worst enemy when it comes to security and privacy. There’s just too much you don’t know – and there are plenty of “people” ready and willing to take advantage of the fact that you’re brandishing your screen in a cavalier fashion in very public places. 

The only other option to keep what’s your screen private (apart from not using your pocket computer in public): use a 3M Privacy Screen Protector. It’s easy to use, won’t hinder your ability to see your own screen straight-on, and shouldn’t interfere with day-to-day operation.

I say “shouldn’t” because there’s probably one person out there who only uses their smartphone at an extreme angle. 

Learn More About 3M™ Privacy Products! 3M is a leader in visual privacy solutions.

3M Privacy Protection  Apps

Because, you see, you don’t see. My phone is clearly on, but even at a slight angle, the screen’s contents are obscured and incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to view.

That’s the idea. And it’s a good idea. 

You might think you’re always aware of what’s going on around you, but there’s a high probability that someone will see something you don’t want them to see when you’re wrapped up in sending Facebook game requests to “friends” you haven’t directly communicated with since high school. 

I realize that this activity isn’t all that interesting to anybody (including to the “friends” you’re inviting in the first place – seriously, stop). But, what if you decide to view or transmit highly-sentitive information? The 3M Privacy Screen Protector can give you a peace of mind that other screen protectors cannot. 

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3M Privacy Protection  Photo 3M Privacy Protection  Photo Obscured

Let’s say you’re in the business of spotting Lizard People. Should these images leak, you would lose a great deal of revenue. You can see that pretty much straight on, the image is as clear as it should be – but from an angle, it would be very difficult for anybody to recognize at just about any distance.

You don’t open the blinds in your front room for neighbors to see you parading about the house completely naked while pounding an air piano to Yoko Ono’s Greatest Hits, do you? No, you don’t – and if you do, then you’ve got bigger problems than I can possibly address in one post.

What I’m saying is: look, if you really WANT to do that in your own home, it’s your right – but you should probably make sure your neighbors don’t see you doing it, eh?

Just like its your right to do whatever you want with your computers – but take the proactive step to block attempts at extra-ocular incursions. Yes, you have to put the 3M Privacy Screen Protector on your screen BEFORE someone casts a glance (otherwise, it won’t work as effectively). 

Your homework is to casually observe just how many unprotected screens are out there the next time you’re out and about. Please don’t be creepy or overt, but… just imagine if someone else had done that to YOU. 

Someone else probably has at some point. 

Learn More About Visual Hacking!

I should also let you know that I’m in deep discussions with 3M about creating a Privacy Protector for Air Pianos – but it may be a while before I can convince them to take my idea seriously. Perhaps I’ll try to fund the campaign on Kickstarter?

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