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Should you buy a privacy screen for your laptop?

Best Microsoft Surface Book Accessories of 2017
Best Microsoft Surface Book Accessories of 2017 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Should you buy a privacy screen for your laptop?

Best answer: Absolutely. Privacy screens are definitely worth getting for your laptop since they effectively prevent other people from spying on your computer activities in public and can also double as a screen protector.Amazon: GeckoCare Privacy Screen (opens in new tab) ($45)Amazon: 3M Privacy Filters (opens in new tab) ($49)

Why use a privacy screen?

Privacy screens are essentially polarized plastic filters that you put over your computer screen in order to make seeing the information on them impossible from any angle other than a 60-degree viewing angle from the front — in other words, where you are. Outside of that cone, nobody will be able to peep on your web browsing or work projects.

This can be incredibly useful for pretty much anyone, but it's especially useful for traveling business managers or college students spending time on campus. While the 60-degree viewing angle still leaves sneaky spies an opening, you'll surely catch them in the act at that tight of a viewing cone. Additionally, the filter screen can double as protection against scratches as well, albeit a mediocre one. If display safeguarding is what you're after, you'd be better off getting a dedicated screen protector.

The rest of this article will suggest privacy screens for Surface Book 2 owners. If you have a different laptop, then we recommend searching the name of your computer and "privacy screen" on Amazon (opens in new tab) in order to find one that works for you.

What are some great privacy screens available?

If you own a Surface Book 2, then you're in luck: some truly excellent privacy screens are available on the market. One of them is the 13.5-inch GeckoCare Privacy Screen, which is a special privacy screen designed to be easily taken on and off of your device at will thanks to the special silicone seal that's used to attach the screen to your Surface Book 2 display. This makes the GeckoCare screen ideal for users who want to use a privacy screen sometimes, like when opening confidential documents, but not all the time.

Another great privacy screen is the 3M Privacy Filter. 3M has a well-earned reputation for being one of the best privacy screen developers in the tech world, and if you use its 15-inch Surface Book 2 filter, you'll see why. On top of effectively hiding your screen from others, the 3M filter is also designed with advanced microlouvre technology that keeps the things you see on-screen just as sharp and detailed as they'd be without a polarized filter.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.