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Does your smartphone display your notifications on the lock screen? Probably. Most smartphones are set to do that. But doing so can put your privacy and security at risk. Here’s how and why to disable your smartphone from displaying lock screen notifications.Security concerns
Allowing your phone to display your notifications on the lock screen can put your online accounts in danger.
If you have two-factor authentication set up for your online accounts, the site will send you a code to input on the website to show that you are the legitimate owner of the account. It’s a great way to keep your accounts secure.
However, if your notifications are visible when the phone is locked, this code will be visible to anyone who has access to your phone. They can get this information easily because they don’t have to know how to unlock the phone. The visible code can put that account at risk of being compromised.Privacy concerns
Allowing these lock screen notifications can also expose you to privacy concerns. Say you leave your phone on your desk while stepping away for a few moments at work. During that time, an email or a text message arrives that has sensitive personal information in it. With the notifications visible, any snooping eyes nearby can read the message.
You probably prefer that even your messages that may not be ultra-sensitive stay private. No one needs to know who you are talking to or what you are talking about. If you allow these notifications to appear on the lock screen, you are more or less giving up that privacy.
Fortunately, changing your phone’s setting so that no one can access these notifications without unlocking the phone is a rather straightforward process, both on Android and iOS.
Every phone will have slightly different ways of accessing these settings. Use these directions as a rough guide, and look through your settings for similar tasks.Hiding Notifications on Android
1. Tap the Settings icon.
2. Choose “Sound and Notification.”
3. Open the Lock screen settings.
4. Select either “Hide sensitive only” or “Hide all notifications.”
Depending on your preferences, you may find it enough to hide only the sensitive notifications. Try it and see how it works. If it’s not protecting the information you want, you can return to this setting and hide them all.Hiding Notifications on iPhone
1. Tap Settings.
2. Open Notifications.
3. Select Show Previews.
4. Choose either “When Unlocked” or “Never.”
Again, depending on your preferences, you may want to only hide these notifications when your phone is locked. If you decide you want more privacy, you can come back and change the setting.
Your phone’s lock screen was developed to keep an unwanted eye from seeing the information contained on your phone. Without it, anyone, strangers included, can pick up your phone and gain access to your accounts. And if they gain access to accounts such as social media or your email, they could do some significant damage. So, take a few minutes today and protect yourself by moving these notifications behind the lock screen.
Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she’s excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.
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