The iPhone’s AirDrop functionality is convenient, allowing users to quickly transfer files between devices. At the same time, a small number of perverts and pranksters are apparently taking advantage of AirDrop to share photos of their “junk” with complete strangers.
The New York Post reports that several New York City subway passengers have recently found themselves on the receiving end of photos of others’ private areas delivered through the AirDrop service.
In one such case last month, a woman says she received such a message while riding the train. She tells the Post she accepted a message, which notified her that an unknown person wanted to share a note. After opening the file, she was confronted with a “huge close-up picture of a disgusting penis.”
How Are The Photos Sent?
Apple’s AirDrop service enables devices using iOS operating systems to transfer files with other users over Bluetooth and WiFi.
The system comes with three options for receiving messages, photos, videos, and other content: “Everyone,” “Contacts Only,” and “Receiving Off.”
While the service’s default is “contacts only” — in which only the contacts saved to your phone can send files — the Post notes that many users may have intentionally or inadvertently switched this option to “everyone,” enabling perfect strangers to send them files.
It’s this option that strangers are apparently taking advantage of on the subway. Of course, recipients must accept the message on their end.
“It never even crossed my mind that someone may use it to send stuff like that,” the woman who received such a photo tells the Post.
How To Change Your Settings
The best way to prevent such unwanted and disturbing photos from popping up on your iPhone or iPad is to check your AirDrop settings.
To do so, users can swipe up on the bottom of their screen to open the Control Center. Here you’ll find AirDrop on the right side.
Clicking on the tab produces the receiving options, “You can be discoverable in AirDrop to receive from everyone or only people in your contacts.” Select the setting you’re most comfortable with.