"Wandering Eyes'' Are Watching; Survey Reveals Laptop Snooping Habits

A survey commissioned in February 2006 by 3M, the makers of privacy filters for laptop computers, uncovered the attitudes and behaviors of business travelers while working on their laptops in public areas, including airports and airplanes. Here are some key findings from this survey (601 business travelers responded with a +/- 4 percent margin of error):

-- Sneaking a peek. Forty-five percent of survey respondents blatantly admit to sneaking glances off others' laptop computer screens while in public spaces.

-- Males vs. females. Male business travelers admit to peeking at other people's laptops 20 percent more often than their female counterparts.

-- What's that? Of those who do peek at others' laptop screens, 42 percent admit to being "interested" in what they see on the screen.

-- Have a look please. Nearly half of those surveyed said they rarely or never do anything to prevent wandering eyes from looking at their laptop screens. The other half employs a combination of methods to prevent snooping: 33 percent turn off their computer, 33 percent shield their screen and most (78 percent) change their seat position.

-- Do you mind? Just over half of the respondents (51 percent) notice others staring at their screens while working in public areas such as airports and coffee shops. Of those 51 percent, over one-fifth had been working on confidential business-related work and 16 percent were working on confidential personal matters.

-- Who needs rules? While 84 percent of business travelers surveyed use their laptop primarily for work, only 4 percent work for companies that regulate business-related work while in public places.

"Every time I'm on an airplane or waiting in an airport, I see business travelers plugging away on their laptops with their screens in clear view of fellow travelers" said travel expert Chris McGinnis, author of "The Unofficial Business Traveler's Pocket Guide: 165 Travel Tips Even the Best Business Travelers May Not Know." "Whether out of sheer boredom or actually being interested in what they see, people do fixate on laptop screens and you never know what they will do with the information they discover. That's why it's always important to protect the data on your screen."

3M provides laptop users added peace of mind with its line of 3M Privacy Filters, the only laptop computer filters that use a proprietary microlouver technology to help deter wandering eyes from seeing what is on a user's screen. This unique privacy device allows people sitting directly in front of the screen to see their on-screen data while others see a darkened screen. With the number of worldwide hotspots growing 87 percent in 2005 (1), this level of privacy can give a greater sense of comfort to business travelers working in wi-fi friendly airports, hotel lobbies, coffee shops and other public places.

About 3M - A Global, Diversified Technology Company

Every day, 3M people find new ways to make amazing things happen. Wherever they are, whatever they do, the company's customers know they can rely on 3M to help make their lives better. 3M's brands include Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Vikuiti. Serving customers in more than 200 countries around the world, the people of 3M use their expertise, technologies and global strength to lead in major markets including consumer and office; display and graphics; electronics and telecommunications; safety, security and protection services; health care; industrial and transportation. For more information, including the latest product and technology news, visit www.3M.com.

Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Vikuiti are trademarks of 3M.

(1) According to JiWire, a leading provider of wi-fi hotspot information.


Hunter Public RelationsJohn Muscari, 212-679-6600, Ext. 297jmuscari@hunterpr.comor3M, St. PaulKatherine Hagmeier, 651-575-4368

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