Bracknell, UK, 25 January 2018 – 3M, the science-based technology company, shares advice with UK organisations on how to make printed or on-screen information less visible to onlookers, ahead of Data Privacy Day on Sunday 28 January (also known in Europe as Data Protection Day)*. Prevention of ‘visual hacking’ – which is the ability to view or photograph sensitive or confidential content on someone’s screen and then use that information for illegal or malicious purposes – is relatively easy, fast and inexpensive compared to other aspects of security, says 3M.
Research shows that visual hacking is a very real risk: in the Global Visual Hacking Experiment** conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of 3M in 2016, visual hacks were, on average, successful in 91 per cent of attempts.
Visual privacy best practices
Best practices 3M recommends include:
- making staff more aware of their own visual privacy responsibilities
- reducing the volume of printed documents left lying around in offices
- instigating strict screen-saver and log-in policies after short periods of inactivity
- angling screens away from onlookers, both at work and in public places
- fitting privacy filters on smartphones, tablets, laptops and monitors. Privacy filters can be easily slipped on and off screens and prevent information from being viewable except straight on and at close range, so that onlookers only see a blank screen.
*Data Privacy Day (also known as Data Protection Day in Europe) is observed in approximately 50 countries worldwide, including the UK.