Tricks For Keeping Your Text Message Notifications Private

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Do you have nosy kids, curious coworkers, or a snoopy spouse who is always checking out your phone’s screen when you leave it unattended? There are times that you don’t want anyone to know who texted you, what they texted you, or when they texted you. It’s really none of anyone’s business but your own, right?

So what’s a person to do in order to maintain their privacy in this day and age?

The Old Face Down Phone Maneuver:

This is perhaps the oldest trick in the book and usually always raises suspicion that you’re cheating on your significant other. If you place your phone face down on a table then you are obviously trying to hide something.

If your spouse or significant other goes phone face down then you have to wonder why, don’t you? I mean seriously, are they trying to protect their precious phone from getting it’s glass scratched, maybe, maybe not. You have to wonder what they are trying to hide. They think they are being subtle, but they are not.

Stealth Texting (no sound):

If you don’t want anyone knowing that you're getting a text you can always turn off the text notification sound and use vibrate instead, but oftentimes, a vibrating phone is even more noticeable than a text notification sound

Turn off “Display Text Message Content” on your phone’s lock screen

One of the best ways to keep prying eyes from seeing your texts on your lock screen is to turn off the display of the text message’s contents from the lock screen. So instead of seeing

“Hey baby, what are you wearing?”

Onlookers would instead see something like this:

“New Text Message Received”

You still are made aware that you have a text, but no one casually looking at your phone will be able to see your conversation, it should also keep previews of pictures from being displayed as well.

Hiding Lock Screen Text Message Notifications on an iPhone’s Lock Screen:

1. Tap the iPhone’s “Settings” icon from the home screen (gray gear icon)

2. Tap the “Notification Center” link and scroll down to the “include” section of the settings page, you will see a list of apps that offer notifications for display ​in the Notification Center (which is available from the iPhone’s lock screen).

3. Tap the “Messages” app from the “include” section

4. Scroll down to the “Show Preview” setting and set the slider to the “OFF” position.

Hiding Lock Screen Text Message Notifications on an Android Phone’s Lock Screen:

Some Android-based phones featuring the “stock” android messaging app may have text message from lock screen notifications already disabled by default, or at least set to only show you the fact that you have a message, but won’t show the message content or the sender.

If all you see is that you have a “New Message” but the sender is not shown, then your messaging app may already be already configured to prevent revealing the sender or the contents on the lock screen.

If you are using a different app for messaging, you may need to check and see if lock screen notifications can be turned off in your messaging app of choice. Some allow this functionality and some don’t. Check your messaging app’s settings for details to see if this function is supported.  

Other Privacy Considerations:

Another important way of keeping snoopers out of your phone is to set a passcode on it. You really ought to either set a strong passcode or enable biometric-based authentication such as Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint reader. You could also take advantage of other methods of authentication such as Android’s trusted devices, which uses your phone’s proximity to a trusted Bluetooth device as a method for unlocking your phone.