7 Best Privacy Screens | December 2016
- extremely lightweight material
- increases screen contrast
- seems a bit overpriced
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
- micro suction tabs for easy on-and-off
- top cutout for webcams
- makes touchscreen response inconsistent
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- also works as an anti-glare screen
- installs with double-sided tape
- viewing angle is a little too wide
|Brand||Akamai Office Products|
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- also features a black side
- available in all common laptop sizes
- high level of clarity
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
- also works on televisions
- protects screen from smudges and damage
- has a light tint to reduce glare
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
- backed by a lifetime guarantee
- very durable and resists scratches
- prevents 96 percent uv radiation
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
- fits 27" 16:9 aspect screens
- reversible matte side reduces glare
- thin, frameless design
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
How A Privacy Screen Works
Privacy screens are designed to appear transparent when one is looking at them straight on, and opaque when viewed from different angles. Privacy screens are a form of monitor filters, which prevent light from reflecting off of a glass screen. Most make one’s screen appear black from an angle, but some emit a bright color, while still covering up the content on the computer. They are usually made from polycarbonate or acrylic plastic with an anti-glare coating and use angled slats or panels to achieve the desired effect.
Privacy screens can attach directly to your computer in various ways. Some cling onto the screen like a magnet, some have parts that can snap directly onto the top or side of your computer, and some come with installation kits so you can permanently mount the privacy screen.
Many screens have both a glossy and a matte side, the latter of which is ideal for working environments where people sit nearby and the users don’t want to disturb them with the glare from their screen. Professionals who have confidentiality agreements with their clients, like doctors and psychiatrists, benefit from screens that appear entirely black from an angle to ensure their patients privacy and safeguard themselves from any legal repercussions from leaking sensitive patient data.
Documents That Should Always Be Kept Private
Since portable laptops have become commonplace, so has doing personal business in public areas. People often do everything from banking to paying medical bills while sitting at a coffee shop, but it is important one remembers that nobody filters the customers in these places, and anybody can see what they’re doing. Most people don't take the proper steps to securing and organizing important documents.
If one has to complete confidential computer work in a public space, a privacy screen is critical. When filling out a loan application, people are usually asked to fill out several valuable pieces of information like their social security number and income bracket. If anybody who is looking on sees that a person has a high-income bracket, they may target them for theft and burglary.
Covering up medical bills and other health-related documents is also important. People should be wary when filling out forms for health or life insurance policies when others are around. If an onlooker sees that somebody has an expensive life insurance policy, they may prey on that individual, hoping to get into their close circle of friends and family so they can be put in the will. Even when paying a medical bill one should take pains to cover up their computer screen. If a criminal sees that a person suffers from a condition, they may try to scam them into paying enormous amounts of money to a fake doctor who promises help.
People looking for a new home to lease should keep that fact private. Rental scams are some of the most prominent today, and if someone sees a person looking to lease a home, they might approach and pretend to have a property available. These fake renters require enormous application fees and deposits for properties that do not exist. Even going on social media without covering one’s computer screen can be dangerous. From one’s Facebook page, onlookers can determine information like the name of their children. From there, a con artist can pretend to have a child in the same school as another person, and press them for additional information.
Additional Steps To Securing One's Data
Anyone with sensitive files on their computer should take extra precautions in addition to purchasing a privacy screen to protect their data. Many popular applications such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat allow users to put passwords on documents so no one can read them who isn’t intended to. For added protection, people can download encryption software that scrambles data in a document, and only unscrambles it if a person presses a specific series of keys.
It’s also possible to hide one type of data inside of another. This process is called steganography and there are special programs that accomplish it. One could hide an MP3 file inside of a text file, so someone looking through their computer for the data won't know where to search. Anyone concerned about private files should put password protection on their home screen and set their computer to go to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity. Anyone else hoping to use it will need to know the password just to access the desktop.
People who regularly send files to outside networks should use Internet Protocol (IP) Security. This protects files in transit, including ones that the user receives. Anytime someone sends a file to another computer, their data becomes vulnerable to hackers so IP Security can prevent privacy breaches. Those concerned with copyright infringement should use rights management services, which let the user control what the recipient can and cannot do with the file, like edit or alter it.