If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the smartphone is the window to the… well, you know.
We use our phones for everything these days, and they've become a lifeline during the pandemic.
But if you've got a nosey partner who's taken a keen interest in your group chat banter or even secretly reading through your private messages on your iPhone or Android, it can be very invasive.
This is a widespread problem: 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men have admitted to spying on their partner's phone.
Obviously, your first port of call in this situation is to work on your relationship, and possibly critically assess behaviours that some might characterise as 'red flags'.
Or, you could just double down on the secrecy, avoid all difficult conversations, and change your smartphone settings so that he / she / they can't snoop through your stuff anymore.
You don't need to let us know in the comments why you need this knowledge. In fact, we rather wouldn't know. Don't ask, don't tell.
How to stop people reading your WhatsApp messages
If your partner / children / family members know the lock code to your phone for whatever reason, you have an awful lot of trust. But there are still parts of your phone you might want to keep private.
WhatsApp is definitely one of them. Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to protect your app from prying eyes.
Firstly, add a lock screen or FaceID to the app itself. This means that even if your phone as a whole can be unlocked, opening WhatsApp will require an extra layer of security.
- To activate this, head to WhatsApp settings then > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock and follow the instructions.
You just need to turn the setting on and then choose a duration time for when the app will require touch or face ID or a lock code.
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How to disable lock screen notifications on your iPhone or Android
One of the easiest ways someone can see what messages you're getting is by checking out your lock screen notifications.
This is where little snippets or icons of notifications appear even when the phone is locked, which can sometimes expand and show you what people have been sending you.
If so, you'd better lock it down.
If you want to disable lock screen notification previews on your iPhone, follow these steps:
- Open 'Settings' on your iPhone or iPad
- Tap 'Notifications', then 'Show Previews'
- Select 'Never' or 'When Unlocked'
If you want to do the same on an Android phone, this is how:
- Open the 'Settings' app via the home screen or top slider
- Hit 'Lock screen'
- Then, scroll down to 'notifications'.
- Either turn it off, or click the button and change the setting to 'icons only'
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This should provide a basic layer of privacy to your phone and messages.
However, ultimately, if your partner isn't giving you the space you need, your issues may run much deeper than your phone settings, and hiding your texts isn't going to save your relationship.
It is really important to set healthy boundaries and communicate effectively to work out the underlying cause of this insecurity.
Consider couples counselling or talking about your feelings with one another. Just come clean. Or, you know, don't.
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