Feeds
90%

3M Laptop Privacy anti-peek filter

A blow to glancing?

Reducing security risks from open source software

So does it work? Yes, it does. The glossy side of the filter appears to give a slightly tighter viewing space than the matte side, but not by much. Shuffle sideways and the screen quickly starts to darken to obscurity at its far extremity, with the whole thing going dark before your viewing angle is 45° from full-on.

3m laptop privacy filter in action
Going, going...

What the filter doesn't do is blank the display for anyone standing up behind you and looking down at the display. It does make it harder for them to read text, but it won't stop them doing so. 3M's "micro-louvre" technology - small art gallery, anyone? - clearly only makes a difference on the horizontal axis.

To give 3M it's due, that's all it claims the filter does. It's pitching them as a way to guard against unwanted sideways glances from folk sitting next to you, whether you're in an aircraft or on the train. The company presumably reckons if anyone's going to stand where they can see what's on your screen, you'll be all too aware of them.

3m laptop privacy filter in action
...gone

There's one added benefit: 3M's filters are a darn sight easier to clean than a notebook's display and can withstand more vigorous dusting. Something to bear in mind, this, if you're one of those users whose screen attracts pointing fingers.

Verdict

3M calls its filters Laptop Privacy products, and that's exactly what they provide. They'll certainly prevent casual glances at your screen exposing confidential information, though they don't cover vertical viewing angles.

They're also pricey. That said, what price you put on your data only you can appreciate. You could simply refrain from reading confidential information when you're in a public place, which costs you nothing. But 50 quid might seem a small consideration against the cost to you and your company if what's on your screen is made public. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

90%

3M Laptop Privacy anti-peek filter

Screen your screen from sneaky peeks...
Price: From £40-70/$50-90 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.