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How to Stop Visual Hacking. Yes, That’s a Thing!

This post brought to you by 3M. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Chip Chick.

When you think about a hacker, what comes to mind? Movies are filled with sweatshirt-clad, bespectacled men and women hammering away furiously on keyboards and spouting a bunch of techno-babble that, in the case of Hollywood, probably is just techno-babble. It’s hard not to imagine someone with arcane skills that grant them access to highly secure networks, digging out information wherever they can find it. It’s easy to feel powerless against those forces, unless you’re well-funded enough to compete in the network security arms race between hackers and security companies.

Make no mistake — those hackers exist. But, more often than not, they aren’t the kind of hackers you need to worry about. Hacking — the access of private information — is all too often a low-tech affair. Millions of credit card numbers can be stolen because of one employee divulging a password to a fraudster using an elaborate (or not-so-elaborate) phishing scheme. Simple and easy, but the danger can be even simpler and easier than that. All it takes is one snoop looking over the right person’s shoulder, and your company could end up facing a catastrophic data breach. Fortunately, this is a threat you can take equally simple action to prevent.

We’ve been using 3M ePrivacy filters for the better part of a year now, and they’re irreplaceable when it comes to protecting information and guaranteeing user and company privacy. 3M makes physical filters and privacy software for both mobile devices and laptops, making it impossible for someone to take a peek at one of your employee’s laptops. The laptop privacy filter software obscures the screen when the authorized user’s face is not detected by the webcam and notifies the user when that webcam spots another face in the background. Meanwhile, the physical filters are screen protector overlays that block side-angle vision, only allowing the user to see the screen when looking directly at it.

As bloggers, we frequently work remotely — by necessity or because some cafe has really, really good coffee. Whatever the reason, we’re at risk of someone peeking over our shoulders at any time. And, while it hasn’t happened often, we’ve occasionally seen 3M’s software make our laptop screens go blurry because of someone who couldn’t resist seeing what we were up to. More often than not, it was probably just a nosy person, but all it would take is one person seriously out to steal information to do a lot of damage — given that 3M’s filters are a one-time and fairly cheap expense, they’re invaluable.

It’s good to have state-of-the-art security software to protect you or your company from the high-tech hackers of the world, but it means nothing if someone can simply steal information with a glance. Visual hacking goes on at the workplace and in public alike, so while these filters are absolutely must-haves for your remote employees, they’ll be crucial to security in the office, too. Better yet, both hardware and software take almost no time to deploy and require little, of any, training to use.

Have you or one of your employees been a victim of visual hacking? Has it affected your business or personal life? Let us know in the comments below!

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