Modern technology gives us many things.

Australians putting themselves at risk from visual hacking


We’ve all heard about online hackers and how people’s documents and information can be compromised. But Australians are blind to another low tech risk – visual hacking – where some can literally see and potentially steal sensitive they see on your smartphone or laptop.

Many Australians work on the move on our devices but that freedom brings with it a new risk – visual hacking.

Those glances on the street, in a café, on public transport or on a plane from the people and passengers around you could result in someone gleaning sensitive information from your tablet, smartphone or laptop.

It could be credit card information, personal information or other sensitive business material.


A recent  3M Visual Hacking Experiment, conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of the Visual Privacy Advisory Council and 3M Company, showed that nine out of 10 attempts by a white hat hacker (that’s the good kind) was able to visually hack sensitive company information.

So what’s the solution?

3M – a company known for developing new technologies – has created privacy filters in a range of sizes to protect mobile devices, laptops and desktop computer displays.

These filters prevent anyone else apart from the person directly in front to the screen from seeing the display.

Anyone sitting off centre and to the side of your device will have a blacked out view of your device.


“Visual privacy is a security issue that is often invisible to senior management, which is why it often goes unaddressed,” said Damien Jones 3M spokesperson and General Manager ANZ-Electronics & Energy Business.

“From visible screens to people leaving their laptops unattended, there are clear opportunities for people with malicious intent to steal sensitive data using only visual means.

“A hacker often only needs one piece of valuable information to unlock a large-scale data breach.”

And the 3M privacy filters can not only protect your information but also physically protect your device from scratches.

They are available in a range of sizes to suit smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop monitors are priced between $29.95 for mobiles and $295 for the 30-inch monitor filter.