HP teams up with 3M to fight visual hacking

If you are like me, you do a lot of work on the go. Not a day goes by where I am not typing away on my laptop in a public place like Starbucks or on a bench.

Unfortunately, this opens me up to visual hacking. In other words, devious people can simply glance at my laptop to see what I am doing. If you work with sensitive information, this is a huge problem.

According to a recent 3M-funded study, 90 per cent of visual hacking attempts are successful. Luckily, HP has teamed up with 3M to fight this visual hacking scourge. Rather than use clunky screen covers, the computer manufacturer will integrate the 3M technology directly into the laptop display. Whoa.

"With more and more PCs being used in public places, visual hacking - the act of collecting confidential information by looking at someone else's screen - is a paramount security risk in today's business environment. We're working with 3M to deliver world-class solutions that not only protect the privacy of the individual user, but also provides security for valuable company assets", says Alex Cho, vice president and general manager, Commercial PCs, HP.

Hewlett-Packard explains, "the planned commercialized product from the HP and 3M relationship is an innovative technology that integrates the privacy function directly into the notebook display, creating an on demand electronic privacy solution. This innovative display technology is intended to give customers a secure solution to keep on-screen data protected and out of sight".

As someone who has used 3M display covers in an office setting, I can confirm that they work well - people have difficulty seeing your screen at angles. The problem, however, is that it impacts the quality of the screen. Because of this, it can be frustrating to have on all the time. This means removing the plastic, storing it, and adding it back when working on something sensitive.

This new solution, however, solves this dilemma. The technology is activated with an on/off button, meaning you have nothing extra to worry about forgetting at home or in the coffee shop. Securing your screen is just a button-push away. How cool is that?

HP will add this technology to some laptops in mid-2016.