Strangers using Apple's AirDrop to send lewd pictures

November 27, 2018 08:27 AM

Did you know strangers can send lewd photos right to your phone and never be identified? Some people are using Apple's Airdrop to do it.

The AirDrop feature on all iPhones allows users to quickly send files through Bluetooth or WiFi without disclosing a phone number or email address. Users just need to be within 30 feet to send something, but now strangers are abusing the feature.


There have been new reports of people in public places getting lewd or threatening pictures through AirDrop.

The British Transport Police said they receive two or three reports about "cyberflashing" every month. There have also been reports of this on subways in New York City. This form of harassment often goes unreported.

This disturbing trend can be offensive for people, but for Jennalyn Long, a crisis counselor at RESTORE in Rochester says for survivors of sexual assault this could be triggering.

"It's just the same as they did not consent to this, they didn't want the photo so they don't have the option to not view it," Long said. "You can accept or decline but it still shows you a thumbnail of the photo."

So what can you do to protect yourself and your children?

Go to 'Settings' on your iPhone. Under 'Genera,' select AirDrop and check 'Receiving Off' or 'Contacts Only.' This will stop strangers from sending files to your phone.

If you do receive offensive content pictures, you can report it to police or call RESTORE Sexual Assault Services. The Monroe County hotline can be reached at 1-585-546-2777; the phone number for Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties is 1-800-527-1757.


Kaci Jones

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