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iPhone users beware

Posted on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 12:40 pm

LACIE SILVA – Editor

A new update for the apple software iOS 17 and up has recently dropped with a feature that may be a security risk in the wrong hands.

All iPhone users received a notification for a software update that dropped September 18. This update includes among many features bug fixes, Facetime video voicemail, and the newly infamous “NameDrop.” The NameDrop feature allows all iPhone users to bring their smartphone near another to share contact information. This includes basic information like the users name and phone number but can also include email, home and work address, birthday, contact picture, and more. Once a ripple effect passes over the smartphone, the user will be prompted by a notification to allow their information to be shared with the other iPhone.

The West Tennessee Drug Task Force posted a warning on their Facebook page on November 25, following several other police departments across the nation. All warnings encourage parents to double check their children’s phone for appropriate settings and most encourage to turn off the feature.

Despite several security backups to this feature it should still be approached with the utmost caution. According to chief innovation officer of IdentityIQ an identity theft protection company, “The more information cyber criminals gain access to, the more harm they can cause you and your finances.” However if NameDrop functions in the advertised manner, it could be a useful tool that users intentionally select to easily share information with trusted parties. Director of Information Security and Engagement at The National Cybersecurity Alliance (TNCA), Cliff Steinhauer, stated his belief that NameDrop does not pose a serious security threat based on the security measures, including iPhone users’ opportunity to decline sharing their own contact cards.

As with all cybersecurity and personal information, users should be aware of all their options and take appropriate measures to protect themselves and their loved ones. To disable the NameDrop function, iPhone users must go to their ‘Settings’ and select ‘General.’ From their select ‘AirDrop’ and then toggle the ‘Bringing Devices Together’ option to ‘OFF.’

The Marion Tribune – December 7, 2023