If you have the latest iOS version, this new feature is enabled by default. Is it safe?

If you have the latest iOS version, this new feature is enabled by default. Is it safe?

If you've recently updated your iPhone to the latest version of iOS, you'll feel more confident and secure knowing how the new contact sharing feature works.

The arrival of the latest version of the operating system for Apple mobile gadgets, iOS 17, follows the release of the iPhone 15 series, Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in September last year. Currently, you can update your iPhone or iPad to version 17.2, and this update can be installed on all iPhone smartphones starting from iPhone 11 (you can find a complete list of supported models here). This new version of the OS brought new features such as standby mode, the Journal application and others, but the most notable of them is the NameDrop function. It was this that caused mixed reactions and doubts among users about safety, especially with regard to the use of smartphones by children.

What is NameDrop?

NameDrop can only be used if you and the other user have iPhone smartphones updated to iOS 17 (or, in the future, a later version); In addition, this feature is also available to owners of Apple Watch running Watch OS 10 (or later). This feature is very easy to use and this is what some users have doubts about, and even the US police last November paid attention to possible risks that its use could bring.

As Apple points out, NameDrop is the new and easy way for iPhone users "to quickly share new contact information with a nearby iPhone or Apple Watch". NameDrop function only works for sending new contact information, not updating an existing contact. If your smartphone is updated to the latest OS version, the NameDrop function is activated by default. You just need to hold your iPhone close to another person's iPhone to share your contact  information with their gadget. After that, you can click "Share" or select the "Receive Only" option. If you click on "Share", your contact information will be sent to another device. To complete sending the contact information, you need to click on "Done" in the upper left corner of the screen.

Is the NameDrop function really unsafe?

A few weeks after the update was released, police departments in various US states began sending out notifications to citizens, informing them of what this feature is and the risks that its simplicity may cause if the phone is in the hands of children who may not fully be aware that they are passing on their contacts, for example in the case of communicating with strangers.

Numerous news reports about the supposed insecurity of this feature and videos circulated on TikTok may give the impression that users are no longer protected from unauthorized sharing of information. However, this is not entirely true: if some stranger comes up to you and, as if by chance, brings his smartphone closer to yours, this person will not be able to steal your data, since your confirmation is required to transfer the data.

Can I disable NameDrop?

However, if you don't feel comfortable with the NameDrop feature enabled in your phone or have concerns about the safety of your child, you can disable it at any time. To deactivate NameDrop, on your iPhone:

  • Go to Settings and go to the "General" section.
  • Open the AirDrop tab.
  • Go to the section "Start Sharing By" and toggle "Bringing Devices Together" to the left.
  • Now the AirDrop is desabled.