We’re coming up on Easter in a couple of days, but today I’m going to track back a couple of weeks to a very cool experience I had on St. Patrick’s Day (and no, it didn’t involve green beer or Bailey’s). A few hours before tucking into a plate of corned beef and potatoes, I got the chance to be a guest on Debbie Mahler’s Technical Tidbits podcast show on BlogTalkRadio. It was great – definitely one of the most enjoyable radio interviews I’ve ever been a part of! For that particular show, the topic was computer, laptop and data security, and it was my job to give listeners tips on how to prevent thier laptops and personal information from being stolen.
Throughout the course of the show, a bunch of cool products made their way into our conversation, but there’s one in particular that I thought would be totally blog-worthy: the 3M Notebook Privacy Filter. This is probably my favorite pick for all of you serial public laptop users out there. You know who you are: the folks who are zoned out in front of their notebook computers in Starbucks, Paneras, and airports the world over. The ones who are so intent on their screens that they wouldn’t even know it if some shifty-eyed shyster were lurking around, trying to steal glances at personal information over their shoulder or from the next seat.
You heard me. And clean up that mouthful of Frappuccino® you just spewed all over your keyboard. Bad people can steal account numbers, passwords, and entire identities by peeking at the right laptops at just the right moments. Many of us will squeak by without ever becoming a victim in that manner, but you never know. And yes, I know it’s beyond cliched, but better safe than sorry.
Back to the notebook privacy filter. It’s so simple, so easy to use, that the whole thing is almost comical. It’s just an overlay that you slide over your laptop screen. Once that baby’s in place, things suddenly become a lot more secure. Sitting in front of your laptop and gazing at the screen head-on, everything’s clear as day, as it should be for the legit user. But should someone try to sneak a peek from an angle, all they can see is dark screen. No passwords, no Social Security numbers, no photos – just dark. I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to see the light…