Police issue urgent warning over new iOS iPhone update
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images/Apple
Police have issued an urgent warning over a new feature in the latest iteration of iOS.
Many users will be familiar with the airdrop feature, which allows you to share files more or less instantly with nearby devices.
The aim is to make swapping numbers easier, rather than having to manually input a contact into your phone.
But police have raised serious concerns about the safety of the new feature, as it could allow for that information to be very easily accessed.
While sharing your contact details does require a confirmation, if you're not sure what the pop up means or why it's come up you might inadvertently share your details with a stranger.
Likewise, if someone can get a guaranteed accurate contact for you, then it could be dangerous going down the line.
For example, a woman in a bar wants a man to leave her alone and gives him a fake number so he'll go. But if it was scanned, that wouldn't be possible.
Watertown Police Department from Connecticut posted a warning, saying: "With the new Apple update 'NameDrop' is enabled by default. With this feature enabled, anyone can place their phone next to yours (or your child’s phone) and automatically receive their contact information to include their picture, phone number, email address and more, with a tap of your unlocked screen."
The department went on to explain how to disable the feature.
"To disable this feature go to General - AirDrop - and shut off 'Bringing Devices Together'."
It added: "While in the airdrop settings, make sure you have 'contacts only' set so you don’t receive unwanted pictures from strangers."
However, some people claimed that the police's advice may have been a bit alarmist.
One posted: "This is fear mongering. This is not a safety issue. You have to acknowledge the exchange."
Another wrote: "The two devices need to be unlocked and nearly touching one another, and even then both parties need to acknowledge the exchange with a tap for it to take place."
A third pointed out that even with approval, it might give people some peace of mind to know how to disable the feature.
They wrote: "Done. Thank you for this PSA! Approval or NOT, thank you for sharing this information. Always helpful to know more than less!"
UNILAD has reached out to Apple for comment.