Shopping Product Reviews

The Best Privacy Screen Protectors For Smartphones

We’ve all been there: penning a vulnerable text meant for your recipient’s eyes only, when you notice the person next to you eyeing your phone and reading your private — sometimes very private — correspondence. And unfortunately, folks snooping on your texts may be the best case scenario: When you factor in checking your banking app, typing in a credit card or password or responding to a sensitive email on your work phone, the stakes only get higher.

Whether you’re dealing with nosey acquaintances at a party or strangers on public transit, this kind of digital “eavesdropping” unfortunately isn’t going anywhere. Thankfully, you do have options for helping keep your texts and sensitive information more private. One product which I’m personally enamored with — and which experts say is a two-in-one no-brainer — is a protective privacy screen for your phone.

Privacy protectors adhere to the front of your smartphone and darken your screen from the side so onlookers can’t make out its contents. In addition to shielding your information, they also help physically protect your device from drops and other accidents by adding a defensive layer atop your screen.

Ahmed Ashour, an IT expert and educator who previously worked at Apple’s Genius Bar, is a huge proponent of screen protectors. “Privacy screen protectors keep eyes away from your sensitive information, especially in communal areas and places in public,” he explained. Plus, their use for physical protection is just as important to proactively defend against accidents like drops, according to Ashour: “Every phone should have a glass screen protector. Smartphones are… the most expensive thing on your person at all times.”

Our smartphones give us access to a bounty of information at our fingertips. But this is a privilege that necessitates increased thoughtfulness and responsibility, according to Ashour. “The reality of us using smartphones means that you might need to pull up information for a second on your phone. That’s a moment that someone else could use or take advantage of,” he told HuffPost. Privacy screens are a way to “do your due diligence and not have someone accidentally see something they shouldn’t.”

When it comes to what kind of privacy screen protector to select, Ashour says you really can’t go wrong — as long you do get one. “I’ve used really expensive brands of screen protectors and cheaper brands, and I personally have not noticed a massive difference in the experience,” he said. But since our phones are so costly and so important, “It’s worth spending the extra five bucks, if you can, to get something that’s going to add more protection.”

Ashour recommended this YMHML privacy screen protector from Amazon because of its tempered glass feature, which he noted is much stronger than plain glass. Tempered glass “absorb[s] all the shock” when you drop your phone, he explained.

The YMHML screen protector helps shield your information from snooping eyes.

To get the most bang for your buck for your screen protector, make sure your screen is clean before you apply it. This will help your protector adhere securely and cleanly to your screen sans air bubbles, according to Ashour. In addition, Ashour gave us some tips for best attaching your protector. “These temporary screen protectors are really thick, so that means that you only really get one chance to apply it properly,” he noted. “So take the screen protector by its corners. Your fingers are going to pinch the corners of the screen protector, and you want to lower it very slowly over the top of the phone. [That way] you can optically line up where the corners of the screen protector are going to rest and make sure it’s as even as possible.”

The tempered glass YMHML screen protector that Ashour recommended comes in a pack of two (which Ashour says is ideal in case you misapply the protector on your first go, or for when the shock-absorbing protector essentially gives its life for your phone and you need a fresh one). It’s available in versions for iPhones 6 – 15 Plus.

We’ve rounded up a few more great options for privacy screen protectors, including a version for Android users, below.

HuffPost and its publishing partners may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change. The experts consulted for this story do not necessarily endorse the products ahead unless otherwise noted.


A tempered glass screen protector for Android smartphones

This highly rated option offers versions to fit multiple Samsung Galaxy phones (A12, A13, A13 LTE, A32, A03S and A02S). It comes in a pack of two.

Promising review: “This glass protection and privacy screen are perfect. I work in health care and privacy is very important. The screen works really well standing strong after I drop it. I have tremors in my hands so I drop my phone regularly. It also is a great price since I have two other screens I can use and not wait for another to arrive. Really great screen.” — kelsey esler


Another popular version for iPhones

This Ailun tempered glass protector boasts 36,000 5-star ratings with sizes for iPhones 13 Pro Max to 15 Plus. It comes in a pack of three and also includes three protectors for your camera lenses.

Promising review: “Honestly I’m too lazy to ever write reviews BUT I keep coming back to buy this product and let me tell you it doesn’t disappoint. I’ve dropped my phone at sporting events, down flights of stairs, theme parks, and once even took a nasty fall where me and my phone both bounced off the pavement. I was fine but thought my phone was a goner. These protector screens saved my phone. There wasn’t even a scratch on my phone. The protectors were scratched and cracked but my phone was in perfect condition. This product is like insurance for your phone and even better it’s at such a great low price. If you’re clumsy like me don’t even hesitate and just buy it! I’ve put everyone I know onto these and everyone is very pleased. I like the added privacy of the screen protector as well because people are always nosey. Would 100000% 10/10 recommend this!” — Dominique Marotta


A three-pack for iPhones with 66,000 5-star ratings

This option from popular tech accessory brand ESR comes with an application kit to make adhering your privacy screen as easy as possible. The screens promise to withstand up to 33 pounds of force (!) to help defend against drops and other accidents. They’re available in sizes for iPhones 12-15 Plus, and in multiple multi-packs.

Promising review: “I recently purchased this cell phone privacy screen protector, and it’s been a game-changer! The installation was a breeze, and now I can use my phone with confidence, knowing that my sensitive information is shielded from prying eyes. The clarity of the screen remains excellent, and the added bonus of privacy makes it a must-have accessory for anyone concerned about protecting their digital privacy. Highly recommended!” — Andrea

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *