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Protect Your Texts: The First Setting to Change on an iPhone

As new iPhones are purchased at stores and delivered to customers around the world today (Sept. 16), I have one piece of advice to everyone getting their shiny new Apple gadget: Turn off lock screen previews for Messages. Why? Because you don't need to share the potentially sensitive information and images you're sent with anyone who can see your locked device.

After changing this setting, the lock screen notifications you get from Messages show only the name of the sender and if it's an iMessage or SMS text message. This can seriously save your bacon. I can't go into too much detail about the time that I was affected by keeping this setting disabled, but let's just say the guy sitting next to me at the restaurant bar almost lost his eyes from how far they popped out of his head.

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Whether your relatives are sending you snarky messages about who did what to who, or a long distance lover is showing affection, the texts we get aren't meant to be visible to just anyone, which is a problem for those of us who keep their phones lying face-up in public, waiting to see notifications.

Here's how to disable the Messages app from showing image and text previews on the lock screen in iOS:

1. In Settings, tap Notifications.

2. Tap Messages.

3. Under Messages Options, turn off the switch next to Show Previews.

Congrats, now you've disabled Messages previews in iOS, so you can keep your texts to yourself!