• You gotta keep your information confidential
  • Always use a privacy screen in public places
  • Use privacy screens at work when it makes sense
You can actually feel it like a spidey sense. There’s someone just off to the side and behind you that is peering over your shoulder to see what you’re browsing on the web during business hours.

Yes, it’s not work-related but at the same time, it’s not like you’re totally fucking around aimlessly on the web for hours. This is just a quick little thing you’re checking out. It’s not anyone’s business but your own.

The worst is when your asshole boss comes by your desk unannounced and in almost all cases, you’ve got your web browser open to some non-work related website. And even though you’ve been tackling tons of grunt work, it just so happens that when your boss comes by, it’s the browser that’s on the very top of all other programs on your desktop.

It’s at this very moment that you feel like you’ve been caught with your hand in the cookie jar - busted. This is when you start wondering if it’s okay to use a privacy screen on your work laptop.

Part of you thinks that it’s totally fine to use a privacy filter while another part of you thinks that it’s not good for your personal brand because it looks like you’re hiding something.

The answer is that it’s nuanced. In most cases, it’s the specific situation and environment will dictate the terms.

When You Should Use A Privacy Screen

The obvious situations for using a privacy screen on your laptop are when you’re working in public spaces like cafes, libraries, airports, etc. All of your projects and tasks are subject to confidentiality and you are responsible for maintaining a certain level of security to ensure that sensitive information doesn’t get out.

Here are some of the more critical situations that call for using a privacy filter on your laptop while you’re working.

Managing Top Secret Projects

There’s the normal confidential information that you’re company has and it applies to pretty much everything that you work on. Then, there’s usually another level above that where it’s confidential to a select group of people. This typically applies to corporate financials, legal proceedings and other highly sensitive top secret projects.

If and when you’re part of these groups, having a privacy screen on your computer, even while working at the office, is recommended. You gotta keep those backstabbers out of the loop for sure. And, if you’re working outside of the office, then it’s most definitely required.

Traveling For Business

Humans are curious beings. We can’t help but check out what’s happening around us. It’s kinda like seeing a “wet paint” sign and having the urge to touch the surface to see if it’s really in fact still wet. Or, sneaking a quick peek at what your seat neighbor is working on or reading.

When you’re traveling for business and working on any documents throughout your trip, it’s important to have a privacy filter on your laptop screen to prevent these kinds of Peeping Toms from trying to sneak in a peek.

Working Remotely From Public Places

When you’ve been working remotely from home for several consecutive days or weeks, you can feel the onset of WFH cabin fever and just want to get outside and change things up.

This is when you start thinking about free places to work remotely for a different workspace vibe. It’s your fav cafe in your neighborhood. Or maybe, it’s one of those swanky and hip coworking spaces. Or, more simply, your local library.

In any of these public spaces, you gotta make sure to keep your working docs private from prying eyes.

Viewing Personal Confidential Information

Using a privacy screen isn’t just for public places. You can and should use a privacy screen for those times when you’re accessing personal confidential information like your banking account, health and medical files while at work.

Let’s be real here. We all need to take care of personal shit sometimes during working hours to manage our hectic lives - like shipping personal packages to work. The same applies to online things. When we need to access, view or use personal information on our work laptops, it’s smart to use a privacy screen so that you don’t have to worry about peekaboo neighbors.

Cyberloafing Longer Than Usual 

We all like to think that we’re all putting in a solid eight hours of work a day. But the honest truth is that we don’t work for eight hours non-stop. It’s not possible. We need mental breaks throughout the day to manage work stress and not lose our sanity.

Taking short breaks in between productive sessions is what will help to keep you from running out of steam before the end of the day. And one of the easiest ways to mentally disconnect from work for a bit is to check out stuff on the web or social media.

The problem is that it's way too easy to fall down the rabbit hole and end up wasting way more time cyberloafing than doing work. So, having a privacy screen will keep that non-working extended break less obvious.

Just Be Smart About Using A Privacy Screen

With a laptop and an internet connection, many of us office types can work from pretty much anywhere and that’s a great thing. We can get in the zone with work no matter where we may be sitting.

But this new ability has also introduced a new wrinkle in information security. We have to be more cognizant of where we are and what we’re working on with our laptops.

It’s obvious that we need to prevent public eyes from seeing what’s on our work laptop screens. However, it can also apply to fellow employees too, especially the annoying AF coworkers. When it comes to personal confidential information or just when you don’t want others to see what you’re doing, you should consider using a privacy filter.

Don’t use one for the sake of covering up NSFW shit like watching porn during work. Just be smart about when and where you use a privacy screen. You’ve gotta balance the need for privacy and not give off the vibe that you’re hiding something.

Find your right balance and you’ll be way more comfortable and productive.

Feel Better,

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