Apple iPhone users are being warned about a new security concern when upgrading to the most recent iOS 17 update.
Through the update, the NameDrop feature is automatically set to “on” as the default, allowing an iPhone user to share contact information by just bringing their phone close to another iPhone.
According to Apple, NameDrop was designed to share contact information only with authorized recipients. The company says users can choose the specific contact information they want to share. The “Drop” also still has to be approved by a user for this feature to be successful.
Critics, though, say this kind of configuration could be a problem.
“If you had NameDrop on and I had NameDrop on, I could put my iPhone on top of yours and then after a few minutes, they start vibrating and then it starts sharing information and contact information,” said Boston College cybersecurity expert Kevin Powers. “So now, you could take that one step further and you could see that there’s nefarious people out there.”
“Someone could put it on there and it could get some of my contacts in there and some of the information I hold there that’s private,” Powers continued.
As a safety precaution, police are warning parents whose children have iPhones to be sure to change the setting.
To do this, users can access the settings menu and select “General.” Then, users can choose the “AirDrop” settings menu and turn off the option for “Bringing devices together.”
Speaking on the topic, experts say users can never be too careful when it comes to protecting personal information.
“It goes down to privacy and security and you need to monitor your own privacy,” Powers said.
“If you update your iPhone, shut that off unless you want to use it.”
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