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Product alert: New laptop blocks snooping

Product alert: New laptop blocks snooping
HP

Do you always feel like somebody is watching you? Or in this case, your computer screen?

And I'm not talking about paranoia-laden episodes of webcam hacking fears and remote-screen snooping from a hacker in a basement somewhere. It's more about that guy at the next coffee shop table, quietly sipping his frappuccino, who may be taking a peek at your screen.

It's a creepy scenario, for sure, and it looks like this computer company has the answer to these privacy concerns.

HP unveiled two new laptops last week with what they're calling Sure View, a technology that could reduce a computer screen's brightness by up to 95 percent when viewed from an angle.

HP's EliteBook 1040 and EliteBook 840 will have these privacy screens built-in without the need for any attached screen overlays.

Although screen privacy protectors have been available from 3M for years now, this is the first time they're incorporating the technology into a laptop itself. In fact, HP and 3M worked together to develop and design the Sure View tech that will be gracing these new computers.

Privacy mode on these laptops is quickly activated by pressing fn + F2 and that should keep would-be snoopers from spying on your screen. This will trigger a special backlight and filter on the screen, which will instantly make the picture unviewable from an angle.

As employees are increasingly going mobile, confidential company data is increasingly more prone to what HP calls "visual hacking." Essentially, visual hacking is just their fancy term for "someone side-glancing your screen to check that spreadsheet."

HP says that the addition of the Sure View screen privacy technology to their new laptops will "help address the risks associated with visual hacking and gives customers the freedom to work more confidently and productively in public spaces with the touch of a button."

Both the HP EliteBook 1040 and 840 are slated for release this September and expect to pay a $75 to $100 premium for the Sure View privacy screen add-on.

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