The way Apple's push notifications work gives prying eyes a chance to read through your message conversations while you're away. They just stack up on your lock screen as unencrypted message previews and anyone with half of a brain can pick your iPhone from the table and put two and two together to find out what you were talking about without even having to unlock your device. With that being said, a passcode won't save you.
If you want to give yourself some additional privacy and keep people from being able to read into the push notifications on your lock screen, a new free jailbreak tweak called Notification Privacy by iOS developer Dan Saba is now available that will mask your Lock Screen messages so they can't be read without unlocking your iOS device, as shown above.
What the tweak allows you to do is input filler text that will be displayed on the lock screen in place of the normal notification content preview. In this case, we put "New Notification" as the filler text, so instead of the content of our text message being shown in the Lock Screen push notification, the tweak forced the text "New Notification" to be shown. With this feature implemented, if someone were to pick up my iPhone and read "New Notification," they wouldn't have any idea what the text message was about. This tweak is the perfect nosy person deterrent.
After installing the tweak, you'll find a preferences pane in the Settings application where a few options can be configured to your liking:
Here, you will be able to:
- Enable and disable the tweak on demand
- Choose the filler text that will appear on your lock screen
- Choose to hide or show the filler text instead of notification content on the Lock Screen
- Choose to hide or show the filler text instead of notification content on the Home Screen
- Choose to hide or show the filler text instead of notification content in Notification Center
- Choose to hide push notifications from the Lock Screen entirely
- Choose to hide or show the title in push notifications
- Choose the applications that you want to apply this tweak to
- Use an Activator gesture to enable and disable the tweak on demand
Notably, although we used the Messages application as an example, you can use this tweak for any application that puts push notifications on your Lock Screen, Home Screen, or in Notification Center. You can use this tweak to keep your Facebook messages a secret, your Skype messages a secret, or even your Kik messages a secret. In addition to the Lock Screen, the tweak will also let you customize what kind of information can be hidden or shown while on the Home Screen, or when you're in Notification Center. If you want to, you can pair this tweak with some kind of application-locking tweak, like BioProtect, and make it so that the only way you can see the content of your message is to authorize your way into the application.
Notification Privacy appears to be a very solid way to keep nosy people from reading your personal information. If you want to give the free tweak a try, it's available in Cydia's BigBoss repository. Notification Privacy is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit iOS devices, and is an open source tweak. You can view the tweak's source code on Github via this link.
Name: Notification Privacy
Requirements: iOS 7.0-7.0.4
Tested on: iPhone 5 running iOS 7.0.4
Developer: Dan Saba
Editor's Rating: 5/5