Visual Hacking Is Real, Protect Your Data With 3M Privacy Filters

Typically when we think of hacking we think of people getting into our systems by brute force or DDoS attacks, but many hacks and breaches of security are done by visual hacking. Visual hacking is done by gathering someone’s information or credentials by visual means like, by looking over someone’s shoulder, or passing by etc. Since today is the 10th annual Data Privacy Day, we wanted to let you know how you can prevent visual hacking.

In 2015, Ponemon Institute conducted an experiment in the U.S. that revealed how easy it was to capture sensitive company information through visual hacking. To determine if visual hacking was an issue on a global scale, 3M sponsored an expanded experiment in 2016 to include offices in China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

This experiment concluded that An undercover white hat hacker was able to visually hack information in 91% of the global trials. In nearly half of the global trials an undercover visual hacker was able to obtain information in 15 minutes or less. Globally, 52% of sensitive information was successfully hacked from employee computer screens. The visual hacker was stopped in only 32% of global attempts. Meaning 68% of the time no one did anything to stop them. This just shows you how unsuspecting and how easy it is for hackers to gather information using visual means.

I myself work in a shared, open office space. Anyone that walks by my laptop can easily see what I am working on and could steal my sensitive information. And while most password fields are protected there are times where I am working on reviews and articles under NDA and if that information would get out those companies would be very upset.


3M has a solution to visual hacking with their Privacy Screens and Filters. They sent us one over to check out and see if it would work for us.


The privacy filter is actually very easy to install. Once you take it out of the packaging find out which side is the top and which side is the bottom. The top will have a laser etched product number facing you at the top. Now that you know which side is the top take the filter and flip it over. Use the included attachment strips and place them on each side of the filter as shown below. Try and get them as close to the edge as possible.


Finally remove the blue protective liner from the attachment strips and place the privacy filter on your screen. Below you can see a before and after. If you are looking at the screen from and angle it appears gold and you cannot see anything! So your data is safe.

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Installation took less than five minutes and now I know that if I am working on sensitive data no one else will be able to see it. 3M Privacy filters and screens are a simple and easy solution to visual hacking and if you are working on sensitive data in an office, coffee shop, on a plane, or anywhere someone can peek over your shoulder I would highly recommend one! 3M offers them in all different sizes, not only for laptops, but for monitors, tablets, and even smartphones!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 3M. The opinions and text are all mine.

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