Police in England are investigating what may be the first instance of “cyber flashing,” BBC reports. While riding a train in South London, a woman reportedly received two unsolicited pictures of a man’s penis on her phone via Apple’s “Airdrop” feature.
The victim, 34-year-old Lorraine Crighton-Smith, reported the incident to the British Transport Police.
“I had Airdrop switched on because I had been using it previously to send photos to another iPhone user. And a picture appeared on the screen of a man’s penis, which I was quite shocked by,” she told BBC. “So, I declined the image instinctively, and another image appeared, at which [point] I realised someone nearby must be sending them, and that concerned me. I felt violated, it was a very unpleasant thing to have forced upon my screen.”
This is how photos pop up and are displayed when sent to an iPhone.
As to why she reported it: “I was also worried about who else might have been a recipient, it might have been a child, someone more vulnerable than me,” she told BBC.
Crighton-Smith said the person must have known she was a woman since her Airdrop says Lorraine.
BBC reports that the police are looking into the case, but has said that because Crighton-Smith rejected the photograph, there is no evidence for them to go off of.
So how can you avoid receiving unsolicited photos via Airdrop on your iPhone?
If you want to protect yourself, first select Airdrop on your phone by swiping up from the homescreen or lockscreen.
Then change Airdrop to “Contacts Only” or turn it off altogether: