Police Warn a Brand New iPhone Feature Could Put Your Children at Grave Risk
While smartphones are a great way for parents to connect with their children remotely, a brand-new iPhone feature now makes it possible for complete strangers to connect with their children as well.
According to recent surveys, 19% of children own a smartphone by age 8, and 75% own one before age 13. While smartphones are a great way for parents to connect with their children remotely, a brand-new iPhone feature now makes it possible for complete strangers to connect with their children as well.
Roman Balmakov of The Epoch Times reported that across America, police departments are raising alarms about a feature in the latest iPhone update, iOS 17, that could potentially endanger children. The feature in question, NameDrop, was designed to simplify the sharing of contact information. An official Apple video illustrates its convenience: by holding iPhones close together, users can quickly exchange details like phone numbers and emails. This sounds efficient for adults in business or social settings, but the implications for children are concerning.
The Concerns Over NameDrop
Most users are unaware that NameDrop is activated by default in the new update. Police warnings emphasize the risks this poses, especially to children. A notice from an Ohio police department reads, "Parents, don't forget to change these settings on your child's phone to help keep them safe." Another warning from Connecticut highlights the ease with which someone can obtain a child's personal information, including their picture and contact details.
The critical issue here is two-fold: children might inadvertently accept information swaps, not fully understanding the prompts, and potential predators could deceive children by displaying misleading profile pictures as if the predators were a child themselves.
Consider a typical morning scene in New York City, where kids are crammed in subways on their way to school. It's not far-fetched to imagine a scenario where a predator within close proximity requests to exchange contact information with an unsuspecting child. Most children are used to tapping “okay” to clear prompts on the screen. So, this opens the door for children to share their contact info with a complete stranger without ever knowing it.
Solutions for Parents
To counter this threat, parents can either opt not to give their children iPhones or disable NameDrop.
Here’s a step-by-step guide from CBS News on how to disable this new iPhone feature:
First, go to your iPhone's settings.
Then click on "General," followed by "AirDrop."
Next, to turn off NameDrop, toggle the "Bringing Devices Together" sharing option button to the off position.
For more details on how NameDrop could be putting your child at risk, watch this video from Roman Balmakov and The Epoch Times:
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