Why can readers view pending and closed articles?
The CMS built into your site contains a sense of pending, active and closed articles. You should understand that regardless of the status of an article, any user can view that article if they are provided with a link to it (via sidebar, bookmark, email, etc). "Pending" flags that article internally as not being ready for publication yet, and "closed" flags it as being outdated or archived. If you are viewing a section of articles, however, only the headlines and summaries of those marked "active" will be displayed within that section.
Set Admin Only permissions for sensitive pending articles
Add A Content Section
Under General Information:
Give it a high priority so that it appears at the bottom of the list
Name it: Pending Articles
Uncheck all the default 'Include...' options
Scroll to Permissions
Uncheck all the 'allow' options checked by default
For Allow the following roles to access and read articles in this section:
Add Article or Edit an existing article
Set it to status: Pending
Section: Pending Articles
Once you are ready to make the article active, remember to change the permissions back to:
Allow anyone to access and read articles in this section.
Then move it to its appropriate section.