How to hide the contents of sensitive notifications, on your Android smartphone
If you use an Android smartphone, it's almost certain that you noticed how the notifications that are displayed on your lock screen also show some content from the apps that generate them. Some of that contents can be important from a privacy or security perspective. After all, you might not want your work colleagues to see what your wife or husband writes to you, while you leave your smartphone on the desk. Even if you've set a PIN code, a fingerprint or any other form of locking your Android smartphone, the contents of notifications is still displayed on the lock screen, by default. The good news is that you can change this behavior and stop sensitive content from being shown in Android notifications. Here's how it is done:
How notifications look on your Android lock screen
The notifications shown on your Android smartphone's lock screen should look similar to the ones in the screenshot below. They will display contents from the apps that pushed them and, although some of that content might not reveal lots of information, some of it could be personal or sensitive.
Even if the smartphone is locked, the notifications are still shown and can be viewed by anyone looking at your Android smartphone. If you don't want that, here's how to hide the content of certain or all notifications in Android:
Open the notifications settings in Android
Start by unlocking your Android smartphone and opening its Settings screen. A quick way to do that is to drag two fingers on the smartphone's screen, from top to bottom, and then tap on the gear icon from the drawer.
Tap on Notifications in the Device settings category.
Now you should be looking at a screen called Notifications, similar to this one:
How to hide the contents of all the notifications displayed on your Android smartphone lock screen
If you want to hide the contents from all the notifications that are shown on the lock screen, tap on the gear icon on the top-right corner of the Notifications settings screen.
Your Android smartphone will load a new screen, called Configure notifications. The only option you should see here is called "On the lock screen" and, by default, it should say in small letters that the smartphone is set to "Show all notification content." Tap on it.
A menu pops up. The last option in it says "Hide sensitive notification content." Tap this one!
Now lock your Android smartphone and check its lock screen - the contents of the notifications displayed on it should be automatically hidden. Instead of seeing that content, the notifications will now state "Contents hidden," just like in the image below.
How to hide the contents of the notifications that are displayed by individual apps, like Messenger or WhatsApp
If you want to hide the contents of just some of the notifications displayed on your Android smartphone's lock screen, but not for all of them, here's how:
Let's say that you want to see notifications contents from apps like Facebook or Twitter, but you don't want content from your text messages to be displayed on the lock screen. On the Notifications settings screen, locate the app for which you don't want notifications to show their contents. In our case, that would be the Messages app, because that's the one that handles SMS text messages. Once you find it, tap on it.
Next, tap the "On the lock screen" option.
A menu with a few options is displayed. Tap the one that says "Hide sensitive notification content."
That's it! The next time you get a notification on your lock screen from the app that you just configured, the notification's content will be hidden. In our example, when a text message is received, the notification pushed on the lock screen by the Messages app will say "Contents hidden," just like in the next screenshot.
Hiding the contents of the notifications displayed on your Android smartphone's screen is quite easy, if you know where to look for the appropriate settings. Also, it's good to see that you can do it for all apps at once, as well as go into detail and configure the way notifications are shown for individual apps that you have installed. Before you close this article, share with us which notifications you have hidden. Did you hide the contents of all notifications or just for personal communication apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, SnapChat and others?