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."
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.Cyber-flashing can occur anywhere and to any iPhone user with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on. Just yesterday,
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.