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August 26, 2016updated 21 Oct 2016 4:20pm

HP Elite Laptop to get snooper protection

Visual Hacking is a thing and HP wants to make it harder

By Sam

Have you ever looked over your shoulder to find you’re being snooped on? Ever opened up your laptop on an aeroplane and tapped away?

When flying it is not just journalists who like to look at other people’s laptop screens.

This is because for some reason execs seem to believe that planes are a safe environment to open emails, work on presentations or read sensitive documents.

It is these workhorses that HP is almost certainly targeting with its view blocker.

Two of its Elite model laptops have been fitted with a screen which reduces visibility by 95% when the view is not looking directly at the screen.  The Elite 1040 and Elite 840 laptops will be fitted with Sure View as an integrated feature.

Developed with 3M privacy technology, HP Sure View eliminates the need to carry additional tools to guard sensitive information, the laptop maker said.

Users simply press the f2 key to immediately transition the PC to privacy mode, which reduces up to 95 percent of visible light when viewed at an angle, making it difficult for others to view information on the screen.

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"As the threat of data privacy evolves, more and more organizations are taking the issue of visual hacking seriously," said Makoto Ishii, vice president and general manager, Display Materials and Systems Division, 3M. "Designed with more than 20 years of 3M optical films technology experience incorporated into the privacy screen, HP Sure View helps address the concern of protecting sensitive information through a world-class solution tailor-made for open work environments and for the mobile worker."

Visual hacking is a real threat to a company's sensitive data, as demonstrated by the "Global Visual Hacking Experiment," a recent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, sponsored by 3M.

The study cited that nine out of 10 attempts to acquire sensitive business information using only visual means were successful, with nearly four pieces of private information visually hacked per trial.

Visual hacking can also impact employee productivity, given almost 60 percent of employees take their work outside of office walls3. A similar study by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by 3M also found that employees using a visual privacy solution can be twice as productive when working in close proximity to others.

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