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Using privacy filters to guard computer screens

I want to prevent people from reading a notebook over my shoulder while on a plane or anywhere else. What do you suggest?

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What you need is called a privacy filter or screen protector; they are available at any office supply or stationery store that sells computer accessories. They can also be ordered online from a number of companies.

The privacy filter typically slides over the screen of your LCD monitor, though some use adhesive strips or special mounting tabs for laptops. It blocks roaming eyes that aren't looking directly at your screen, but you or anyone else sitting right in front of it can see everything crystal clear.

Privacy filters have been available for desktops but, unlike those for laptops, they use clips to attach themselves to the monitor casing. Since notebooks and laptops have flat monitors, screen filters need to be attached by some sort of adhesive.

In some industries privacy filters are required by regulators to prevent the leakage of sensitive customer data through shoulder surfing.

Companies offering privacy filters for laptops include 3M, Ergo, In Demand and Fellowes. Prices range from $50 to $90.

For more information:

  • Learn the security essentials for protecting data on your laptop.
  • Locking down your laptop requires the right authentication tools. Joel Dubin explains.
  • This was first published in April 2007

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