Privacy screen protectors for your phone: how they work and how to choose the best one for you.

August 8, 2023

privacy screen protectors

Using a privacy screen protector for your mobile phone offers a multitude of benefits. Here, we break down the top questions on all things related to privacy screen protection:

  • What is a privacy screen protector?
  • How do privacy screen protectors work?
  • Why do I need a privacy screen protector?
  • What kind of sensitive information do we need to protect?
  • Where is a privacy screen helpful?
  • + Other frequently asked questions.

What is a privacy screen protector?

Privacy screen protectors are applied to the surface of your mobile phone’s screen, making it difficult for others to see its contents. This means you can use your phone in public spaces without worrying about strangers catching a side glimpse of your private conversations or confidential information. The strength of the screen protection itself varies, depending on the protector’s material (glass, film, etc.).

How do privacy screen protectors work?

Privacy screen protectors use a technology called micro louver to narrow the viewing angle of the screen. Like window blinds that block the view of a Peeping Tom passerby, micro louver films are designed with tiny vertical blinds that narrow the viewing angle, making it hard for anyone to see the content on the screen unless they are directly in front of it. Those viewing from the side or behind the main viewer will see a blurred/dark screen.

Why do I need a privacy screen protector?

Your mobile phone holds more sensitive information on you than some of your closest friends. Alas, our mobile phone can always be found in our hands, purse or pockets -- we quite literally cannot leave home without it. And with no time to waste, we’re also frequently maximizing every spare moment in our day, meaning sensitive information is being handled in plain sight while we’re out and about. It’s easy to see why securing your personal information is a top concern when prying eyes can simply glance over an unsuspecting shoulder and gather critical intel.

What kind of sensitive information do we need to protect?

  • passwords
  • photos
  • banking information
  • notes
  • confidential business emails
  • personal text messages/emails
  • locations - of yourself and loved ones

…. and more. A simple fix is the use of a privacy screen protector for your mobile phone.

Where is a privacy screen helpful?

  • In crowded spaces

Shoulder surfing is a term used to describe the act of someone looking over your shoulder to steal sensitive information, like passwords, PINs, or banking information. Privacy screen protectors are an effective deterrent, as the information on the screen becomes distorted when viewed anywhere except head-on. This distortion ensures your personal data remains secure even in busy environments.

According to the BBC, Senior UK Fraud Officer Detective Superintendent John Roch says the technology behind apps is secure, but criminals are getting better at exploiting human behaviour. For example, thieves typically "shoulder surf" victims to catch them entering their PIN before stealing the phone.

More than just protecting pins and passwords, your mobile phone’s photo library and your personal text messages and emails are a collection of everything from precious memories to topics private or sensitive in nature. A privacy screen protector helps deter any onlookers when flicking through, reading, or responding.

  • In the workplace

Open-plan layouts are common in today’s workplace setup. With this, visual hacking has become more frequent. Although the term visual hacking may sound complicated, it’s achieved much easier than you think. Visual hacking is when unauthorized individuals gain access to sensitive information by simply looking at the computer or mobile screens of others. For those who deal with confidential data, a privacy screen protector helps fight against potential data breaches for small and large businesses alike.

Your personal life is always in motion, regardless of whether you’re in the boardroom or not. Maintaining your workplace professionalism is critical, and a privacy screen protector can be an advantage when you’re in the office. With the right screen protector security, you can avoid inadvertently displaying personal content on your screen to colleagues when you least expect it.

  • While travelling

Our work seemingly never stops, and we tend to often engage with sensitive matters on the move, in public places or during business trips. Whether it's reviewing contracts, reading confidential emails, or accessing private documents, a privacy screen protector ensures that your business communications remain confidential.

A privacy screen protector makes it harder for a malicious actor (any person or organization that intentionally causes harm in the digital domain) to collect sensitive information. While encryption and strong passwords are essential, combining these measures with a privacy screen protector creates a tough defence against potential threats.

privacy screen protectors


How do I install my privacy screen protector?

  • For at-home applications

At-home application kits typically include tools to help the process along, including a tray, dust removal sticker, microfiber cloth, an object to smooth out air bubbles and more. Most importantly, you must ensure your hands are freshly cleaned before starting the process to avoid fingerprints (latex gloves are also a good option), and that your screen is clean and dust free before applying the protector. When the tools are used correctly, you can achieve a bubble-free, high-quality application at home.

  • For in-store applications

When purchasing a privacy screen protector in-store, some retail locations may offer a trained sales professional to help apply it for you.

How do I remove it?

Gently lift the corner edge of the screen proctor and gently peel it up and away.

Does a privacy screen protector hurt your eyes?

Quality is an important factor when it comes to screen protection, as not all are made the same. It’s common to find that some lesser-quality privacy screen protectors cause a Moiré effect (when two patterns with similar frequencies interact with each other). This creates visible lines on the screen that can make you feel dizzy and nauseous -- typically due to the privacy screen protector not being tested on an actual screen in production.

Another issue with lesser-quality products is that they work by simply darkening the screen without using any specialised technology. This makes the screen more difficult to see overall, even for the one who is meant to be viewing it. When utilizing optimal technology, some privacy screen protectors can provide additional benefits such as minimizing the emission of harmful blue light.

Do privacy screen protectors exist for other devices like iPad and laptops?

Yes. Privacy screen protection can be found across various devices with screens – not just mobile phones.

Do privacy screen protectors protect the screen as well as the non-privacy versions?

Yes. However, this depends on the material and quality of the screen protector itself. Like traditional screen protection, privacy screen protection is available in both film (plastic) and glass versions, with different levels of protection, depending on the material and manufacturer. The best protection is made of strong, tempered glass, to maintain the look, feel and performance of your phone’s screen while protecting it from microbes, scratches and impact.

Do privacy screen protectors affect brightness/display quality?

Generally, security screens can make the display appear slightly darker or less vibrant. This is due to the privacy technology, which is specially designed to block the view from certain angles. Utilizing advanced screen protection technology should maintain the screen’s visual quality even with privacy factors in place. In comparison, lesser quality screen protection may cause the display to appear grainy or pixelated, due to the use of patterned films used to block the viewing angles. If you feel your screen has reduced slightly in brightness with the privacy overlay applied, you can turn up the brightness settings on your device.

How to choose the right privacy screen protector?

When selecting a privacy screen protector, look for a combination of high-quality, high-impact screen protection and authentic, genuine privacy technology that works to distort your mobile phone’s screen from onlookers without compromising the integrity of its visual quality. After all, mobile phones are an investment, and a little protection goes a long way.

How do I know what is the best iPhone privacy screen protector?

When choosing screen protection for iPhone models, it’s important to look out for products that are not only designed to physically fit various iPhones but also work harmoniously with their unique software and features. E.g., for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, an iPhone security screen should work seamlessly with the Dynamic Island feature and retain the glide and feel of the screen to deliver the brightness, sharpness, and clarity you expect from your iPhone.

6 reasons why Belkin is best in privacy screen protection.

privacy screen protectors

1) Belkin screen protectors are designed to keep the look, feel, and performance of your mobile phone’s screen. Meaning you can enjoy full-screen privacy in portrait mode, keeping your emails, texts, and photos protected. If you want to share what’s on your screen, simply flip your phone to landscape mode for an unobstructed view from all angles.

2) Advanced defence against scratches and impact. Our Tempered Glass screen protection provides multi-level protection and is extensively tested to withstand deep-level damage caused by occasional drops and impacts. We also subject it to rigorous testing to protect your screen from surface-level damage from contact with hard, metal objects such as keys and coins. Proven in testing to have a hardness rating of 9H**, it’s the highest level of scratch protection available.

3) We test our screen protectors to the highest optometric standards. Our privacy screen protectors feature privacy technology designed to specifically distort the contents of your screen, blocking unwanted viewing. Belkin privacy screen protectors are also designed and engineered from high-quality, durable Japanese glass to deliver the brightness, sharpness, and detail you expect from your iPhone screen.

4) Protected by our best-in-class warranty. After an in-store or at-home application, simply register the screen protector purchased to opt in. Belkin offers a streamlined process to get a free replacement. It’s 100% free -- you won’t find any surprise shipping and handling fees here.

5) We’ve revolutionized in-store screen protection applications. Belkin’s proprietary ScreenForce Pro application system can be found in various retail locations around the world. This one-of-a-kind system enables your chosen retailer’s in-store team to apply practically flawless screen protection on your mobile phone within minutes. If you can't make it to your local retailer, we've included an Easy Align tray for an easy, bubble-free home application.

6) We are continuously finding more responsible ways to build products. Belkin’s ScreenForce Pro machine features a universal design that works with many makes and models of mobile phones. This reduces waste by eliminating the need to produce individual cradles to fit each new phone that comes to market. Our innovative screen protection packaging features a 100% compostable envelope, which has led to a 40% reduction in Belkin’s single-use plastics. This equals 61.29 Metric Tons of Plastic = 3.2M Water Bottles.