Home Police departments issue iOS 17 warning

Police departments issue iOS 17 warning

November 27th – Local police departments have issued privacy warnings around Apple’s recent iOS 17 update for iPhones. The update includes a feature called “NameDrop” that allows for contact information to be shared — a little too easily.

Users can share contact information simply by situating the phones in close proximity to one another. Nothing needs to be scanned, nothing needs to physically connect. The contact sharing is automatic.

Cyber security implications

Cyber security experts have raised serious concerns around this, especially in relation to children. In theory, a stranger who walks by could obtain a child’s contact information (including home address), and then lure the child into an exploitative and/or dangerous situation.

“…From a cybersecurity point, this is a major red flag,” says expert Alan Crowetz.

Opt-out approach

This feature is automatically turned on through the latest iOS 17 update. For safety reasons, this feature should arguably be opt-in rather than opt-out, according to a handful of cyber security professionals.

iPhone users can disable this feature by going to the settings menu, selecting “General,” then “Airdrop.” Users will then see “Bringing Devices Together.” Toggle that in order to change the NameDrop settings.

Parents should not only do this for children, but should also consider doing the same thing for their own devices, as to protect personal information.

For more on this story, click here. For further mobile security insights, please see CyberTalk.org’s guide to mobile device security.

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