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iPhone’s NameDrop feature is not a risk to your security, here’s why – Times of India

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In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of concern surrounding Apple’s new NameDrop feature for iOS 17. Several US police departments have issued warnings, urging parents to disable the feature on their children’s iPhones, citing potential privacy risks.It started with the City of Chester Police Department in Pennsylvania posting on Facebook. The police department on its Facebook page noted, “IMPORTANT PRIVACY UPDATE: If you have an iPhone and have done the recent iOS 17update, they have set a new feature called NameDrop defaulted to ON.This feature allows the sharing of your contact info just by bringing your phones close together. To shut this off go to Settings, General, AirDrop, Bringing Devices Together. Change to OFF.”
The Oakland Police Department followed up with a similar post and a ‘warning’ for parents. “Don’t forget to change these settings after the update on your children’s phones as well,” said the police department with regard to NameDrop.
What is NameDrop?
The NameDrop feature allows iPhone users to quickly and easily share contact information with each other, simply by tapping their phones together. It genuinely looks cool and works like a charm and is a convenient way to exchange information with someone you’ve just met or want to connect with.
Why are police departments concerned?
Police departments have raised specific concerns about the feature’s default setting, which automatically enables NameDrop when a user updates their iPhone to iOS 17. They also worry that children may be more susceptible to falling victim to someone trying to misuse the feature.
Are those concerns legitimate?
No, not at all. While it’s understandable that there are concerns about any new feature that involves sharing personal information, it’s important to note that NameDrop is designed with security in mind. Apple hasn’t officially commented on the matter. However, NameDrop remains absolutely secure.
It is true that NameDrop is an automatically enabled as default setting. But it is quite easy to turn it off. Just go to iPhone’s Settings app and then tap General. Now, tap on AirDrop and just toggle off the “Bringing Devices Together” option.
Why NameDrop remains safe
Firstly, NameDrop only works when two iPhones are physically close to each other. This prevents someone from remotely accessing someone else’s information.
Secondly, NameDrop won’t work till the iPhone is unlocked. So the chances of a stranger just picking up your iPhone and share information doesn’t exist — unless they know your passcode or you don’t have a passcode. Someone cannot simply tap their phone to someone else’s and steal their information.
Sure, Apple can change the default setting to off but even with NameDrop enabled, it doesn’t pose any security threat warranting ‘warnings’ from the police.

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