You’ve likely seen the video or at least heard the story of how a Southwest Airlines pilot responded to complaints from passengers that they received images of an unclothed person on their phone. The captain used the intercom system to scold the unknown passenger and threatened to return to the gate.
This so-called cyber-flashing is a growing problem with Apple’s AirDrop feature and Android’s Nearby Share feature that allow you to send and receive images, videos, and files from other users nearby.
Yes, you get prompted to decline or accept the image, but you cannot unsee the preview image in the prompt.
To protect yourself on your Apple device, Click on Settings, General, and AirDrop to choose Receiving Off, Contacts Only, or Everyone. I recommend you select Receiving Off. Temporarily enable receiving when you wish to exchange photos. Apple provides a detailed explanation of AirDrop at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204144
To protect yourself on an Android device, choose Hidden your Nearby Share settings. The steps will differ depending on your device and version: Settings, Connected Devices, Connection preferences, Nearby Share, and choose Hidden. Or your device might have you go to Settings, Google, Devices & Sharing, Nearby Share, and set Use Nearby Share to Off. You can learn more about Nearby Share at https://support.google.com/android/answer/9286773?hl=en
Bad actors strive to find ways to affect users of any brand and type of device and service. Please forward this to your friends, so they don’t receive shocking images via AirDrop or Nearby Share!