Whenever you talk about cyber security threats, most people would think about threats such as password hacks, phishing, and use of malicious software. People tend to forget about visual hacking.
Visual hacking refers to the prying eyes whether you are in the office or a restaurant having coffee and someone tries to see what you are doing on your computer. No one feels comfortable in such a scenario and thus the need to have a privacy screen protector for your device.
In this guide, we look at why privacy screens for your computer monitor are important and which are the top options to get right now.
Why You Need a Privacy Screen Filter?
Now that you understand what is a privacy screen protector, next is why do you even need one? For most people, it would be either of two things. Such include privacy in the workplace or privacy to personal computing.
Whenever you are working on something at the office, it is easy to find some people looking at your MacBook Pro screen to see what you are working on. Not everyone feels comfortable with the constant monitoring of their device from other people.
The worst can be when during such visual hacking, someone sees your sensitive data. This can include trade secrets, contact lists, bank statements and so much more.
The same thing applies to those who value their privacy to personal computing. Even if you do not use your MacBook Pro or Air for work purposes, you might still have confidential documents opened on the screen.
It might be easy for you to end up exposing personal data such as password logins, email communications, online bills, and much more. With a privacy screen installed, you deter more people from seeing your data.
What to Consider When Buying a Privacy Screen Protector
At this point, you should see the importance of getting a privacy screen. However, how do you choose the right one? Below are some of the considerations for picking the best privacy screen protector for your computer monitor.
Overall image clarity
Privacy screen protectors work by blocking some of the light from the screen. As a result, it becomes hard for some people to see the content on their screen with better clarity as before. It might be the reason why some opt not to use the privacy screen protectors.
However, there has been an improvement in the way privacy screen protectors are made. A company such as Kensington or 3M is now making better privacy screens that deliver 30% more clarity than the previous models.
Always consider the clarity of any privacy screen before buying one.
How to apply it
How you apply the privacy screen protector will vary a lot depending on the model. Some would require to follow a specific process so that the adhesive does not mess up your screen. For most privacy screen protectors, they allow for ease of applying the screens and removing them easily.
If you are going to choose the best privacy screen protector for your MacBook Pro, then consider the right size. Ensure that you are buying the best privacy filter that fits your laptop screen. Luckily, manufacturers make them in various sizes. When placing an order, double check that you have chosen the right size for your device’s screen.
You will have the option of choosing your favorite color when buying privacy screens. The basic screens will be black. Over the years, manufacturers have introduced more colors to help diversify their product lineups. Now you can get them in different colors such as gold sheen.
Remember that these colors can also affect how bright the MacBook Pro screen can be viewed. The Gold sheen color will be more expensive as it allows for more light to pass through, but it is still distracting to other workers. Black screens are the worst for those working outdoors, but still affordable.
As expected, different privacy screens will have different prices. Most will cost from $30 to $50, which seems like an affordable option. Compare the various models to see the type of features you get with the set price.
How Screen Privacy Filters Work
Privacy screen filters work great to keep the prying eyes away, what you do not know is that they rely on a low-tech principle to work. The privacy screens consist of a polarized plastic sheet as part of the construction.
The polarized sheet works as an optical filter by blocking the light from going out at certain angles. For our case of screen filters, the light on the sides of your laptop screen is blocked, leaving you with light in-front of the screen.
It is the same type of technology used in polarized sunglasses and some camera lenses to achieve certain shots.
All the models we have reviewed below stand out for their impressive performance as privacy filters. With their narrow field of vision, it is easy now to keep people from trying to look at your computer screen. Many will find the models below being easy to apply onto their screens. Like the Kensington MP series privacy screen filter, which is magnetically attached.
Both Kensington models on this list are for those who require a quick snap on privacy filter they can take off any time. The 3M Gold privacy filter is for someone who wants something different other than the normal black privacy filter.
Most of the differences come in terms of applying to the laptop screen and the sizes available. If you are going to buy the privacy filter, make sure you get the model that fits your computer monitor screen perfectly.
Top 3 Best Screen Privacy Filter Reviews
1. Kensington Magnetic Privacy Screen for MacBook Pro and Air
The Kensington MP series of privacy screens are easy to apply. This is because you simply attach it magnetically. It attaches over to your MacBook’s frame in a snap.
No more worrying about the adhesives that might end up damaging the pristine look of your device. Also, it is easy to see that you will take less time as compared to when you would be using the adhesive type.
Other than being easy to attach, we also find that the model provides for the best angled privacy. With a narrow field of vision being +/- 30 degrees, it helps to keep the prying eyes of coworkers away from your screen.
The filter itself is also ideal for filtering out the harmful rays by 22%. This helps in easing the eye strain and further reducing the chances of the blue light affecting your sleep patterns.
- Kensington MP12 Magnetic Privacy Screen Compatible with 12″ 2016/2017/2018 MacBook
- Kensington MP13 Magnetic Privacy Screen for 13″ 2016/17/18/19 MacBook Pro and 2018 MacBook Air Retina
- Kensington MP15 Magnetic Privacy Screen for 15″ 2016/17/18/19 MacBook Pro
- Kensington MP16 Magnetic Privacy Screen for 16″ MacBook Pro
- Easy to apply magnetically
- Offers more angled privacy
- Reduces blue light
- Leads to a huge gap when you close the MacBook Pro lid
2. 3M Gold Privacy Filter for Widescreen Laptop
If you are looking for a gold privacy screen, then this 3M gold privacy screen filter can be an ideal consideration for you. The best part is that it offers a 60-degree viewing angle. This should be enough to keep the prying eyes on your sides from seeing what is on your screen.
The filter comes with the option of using COMPLY attachment system. This system is important for you to quickly and easily change from screen sharing to a world-class privacy in a snap. It can be ideal for those who might need to share their screen often.
We also found it to be one of the thinnest privacy filters on the market. It should give you more privacy while at the same time not add any bulk to the laptop look.
- 3M Gold Privacy Filter for 12.1″ Widescreen Laptop (16:10)
- 3M Gold Privacy Filter for 12.5″ Widescreen Laptop
- 3M Gold Privacy Filter for 13.3″ Widescreen Laptop (16:10)
- 3M Gold Privacy Filter for 14″ Widescreen Laptop
- 3M Gold Privacy Filter for 14.1″ Widescreen Laptop (16: 10)
- 3M Gold Privacy Filter for 15.4″ Widescreen Laptop
- 3M Gold Privacy Filter for 15.6″ Widescreen Laptop
- 3M Gold Privacy Filter for 17″ Widescreen Laptop (16:10)
- High quality privacy filter
- Works with Comply attachments
- It is ultra-thin to maintain a better profile
- The installation instructions are not clear
3. Kensington Snap2 Privacy Screen for Most Computer Monitors
With this Kensington FS series of privacy screens, you will experience the best limited viewing angle of +/- 30 degrees. As a result, you can sit easy knowing that your information is protected on the screen.
Setting it up is easy thanks to having the spring-loaded mount system. The springs are adjustable so that you can fit it easily depending on the type of device. It is worth mentioning that there are several sizes to choose from.
The privacy screen is good at reducing the blue light up to 30%. This ensures that you never get the worst eye strain, especially for someone who works in front of their screens the whole day.
The model’s frame-free construction makes sure that it does not obstruct the controls or speakers. As a result, it is an ideal model for most computer monitors that require a privacy screen.
- Kensington FS170 Snap2 Privacy Screen for 17-Inch Standard 4:3 Monitors
- Kensington FS190 Snap2 Privacy Screen for 19-Inch Widescreen 16:10 Monitors
- Kensington FS220 Snap2 Privacy Screen for 20-Inch to 22-Inch Widescreen 16:10 Monitors
- Kensington FS240 Snap2 Privacy Screen for 22-Inch to 24-Inch Widescreen 16:10 and 16:9 Monitors
- It is simple to set up
- Impressive narrow field of vision
- Reduces the harmful blue light
- It looks bulky over the screen
From the guide above, it is easy to see that privacy screen filters are essential for your Macbook, or any other laptop screen. They ensure you do not have to worry about someone looking at your computer screen to see the sensitive content.
They vary in terms of price with affordable models now available. Depending on your budget, it should be easy to get the best privacy filter for the money.