Don't set your AirDrop settings to 'public' -- here's why

If you own an iPhone, you may have used AirDrop, Apple’s clever file-sharing system that lets you share anything on your phone to a nearby Apple device super quickly.

Using AirDrop, you can make yourself discoverable to everyone or only people in your contacts. That said, we encourage everyone to set AirDrop to “Contacts Only.” And here’s why.

According to the BBC, the British Transport Police are investigating the first known case of “cyber-flashing,” when a 34-year-old woman received a few indecent photos from a fellow commuter as she travelled to work. Though the woman chose not to accept the images, she said she felt “violated.”

“It was a very unpleasant thing to have forced upon my screen,” she told BBC.

Though the British Transport Police don’t have any evidence to go off since the woman didn’t accept the commuter’s nude photos, BTP superintendent Gill Murray recommended anyone who encounters a similar situation save the images and contact the authorities.

“Receiving an indecent image from someone you don’t know must be very distressing and something we would take very seriously,” Murray told BBC. “If it happens to you, our advice would be to remain calm, retain the image and report the matter to police as soon as possible.”

On an iPhone, you can change your AirDrop settings by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to access the Control Center. Towards the bottom, you’ll see a bar that mentions your current AirDrop settings, which you can just tap to change.

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