Simple fix will stop your iPhone from receiving sexually explicit pictures via AirDrop

Simple fix will stop your iPhone from receiving sexually explicit pictures via AirDrop
Apple's AirDrop feature allows an iPhone user to send photos, videos, documents and other files to other iPhone units nearby. For AirDrop to work, both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have to be turned on. But some iPhone users are taking advantage of this technology to send sexually explicit pictures to strangers. This act even has its own name, "cyber-flashing."

Cyber-flashing can occur anywhere and to any iPhone user with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on. Just yesterday, Wall Street Journal reporter Joanna Stern was about to hop on the subway when she received a photo showing some guy's "junk." Keep in mind that when an AirDrop image is sent to an iPhone, the recipient does have the option to accept or decline the content. But the AirDrop notification includes a picture large enough to offend those receiving an inappropriate image.

There is a way to prevent your iPhone from receiving images sent via AirDrop without having to turn off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Go to Settings and tap on General. Click on AirDrop. You will have the option of making your phone discoverable to "Everyone," or your "Contacts only." Unless you have some perverts in your contacts list, you should be safe by choosing the latter. But to absolutely protect yourself from receiving any sort of explicit image, clicking on "Receiving Off" makes sure that you can move around near other iPhone users, and they won't be able to use AirDrop to send you anything (see image at the top of this article). Of course, this means that your friends also won't be able to use AirDrop to send you any content. But this might be an affordable price to pay in order to have some piece of mind.

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15 Comments

1. RevolutionA

Posts: 390; Member since: Sep 30, 2017

Hmm. iPhone users be careful since there are more and more droids taking advantage of Apple's technology.

5. worldpeace

Posts: 3106; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Yeah, because all those perverts are using droids to send explicit picture with airdrop. /s

2. Vokilam

Posts: 1150; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

It sucks that this nice little feature is ruined by idiots. I used this by sending pictures of the person driving beside me on the highway - it’s pretty fun. But to abuse the service this way - ruins it for creative folks.

14. rebretz

Posts: 112; Member since: Dec 26, 2011

Everything is ruined by idiots.

3. cncrim

Posts: 1585; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Never lucky enough have a female send their own junk to my phone. Stop make big deal out of this stuff.

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 30899; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Screw the fix, send all the girlie pics to me. 18 and over only.

9. Scott93274

Posts: 6030; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

LOL, I fear that your expectations and reality might no align in this particular case. But one can always hope.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 30899; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I fear you're 110% right lol

6. Venom

Posts: 3272; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Oh look, another exploitable thing left overlooked. Seriously who is in charge of security at Apple? Fire them immediately.

8. Vokilam

Posts: 1150; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Stupid comment. This is not an exploit of security, it’s an abuse of a feature.

10. Scott93274

Posts: 6030; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Sure, and crashing an iPhone via text string in a text message is also an abuse of a feature, as is the lack of security that protected accounts from brute force entry back when all those celebrity photos were stolen. Half-baked ideas that result in abuse by others outside the control of the phone's user are serious exploit issues, take for example a simple link that forced iPhone users to repeatedly call 911 over, and over, and over again. Android may be a flawed OS, but security risks are typically identified and corrected prior to people actually being impacted by them, that is unfortunately not the case with Apple's mobile OS.

11. Venom

Posts: 3272; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

So abusing a feature relatively easy for malicious purposes isn't an exploit? What about the text message exploit via a random string of text and numbers that causes an iPhone to crash? Just like Scott says, Android may not be perfect, but at least major exploits and vulnerabilities are swiftly dealt with before they infect too many users and any major issues.

15. Vokilam

Posts: 1150; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Once again your confusing something that works as it should, to something that doesn’t work as it should. This problem doesn’t require a fix - it works as intended. The other things you mentioned needed a fix and they were fixed quickly. Exploit and abuse are two different things.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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