Parents Beware: Apple's NameDrop Feature Could Put Children's Data at Risk

The option is available on smartphones with the latest version of iOS, as well as on Apple smartwatches

by Sededin Dedovic
Parents Beware: Apple's NameDrop Feature Could Put Children's Data at Risk
© Leon Neal / Getty Images

Apple's latest mobile operating system introduced a new feature called NameDrop, which allows users to easily share contact information with other nearby users simply by bringing their devices close together. However, a police station in Ohio has warned parents that this feature could pose a security risk for their children.

NameDrop utilizes proximity detection to initiate contact sharing. When two devices equipped with NameDrop are within close proximity, a prompt will appear on both devices asking if they want to share or receive contact information.

Users can then choose to accept or decline the request.

Safety Concerns for Children

The Ohio police station expressed concern that children may be more susceptible to sharing contact information with strangers using NameDrop.

The feature's ease of use and lack of a confirmation prompt could make it easier for children to inadvertently share their personal information.

Recommendations for Parents

To minimize the risk of children sharing their contact information with strangers, the police station recommends that parents disable the NameDrop feature on their children's devices.

This can be done by navigating to Settings > General on the iPhone and turning off the "Bringing devices together" option under the AirDrop section. For parents who still want their children to be able to share contact information with friends and family, there are alternative methods that offer more security and control.

Parents can encourage their children to use secure messaging apps that allow for selective contact sharing and require additional confirmation steps. Additionally, parents can teach their children about online safety and responsible social media use.

While NameDrop can be a convenient way to share contact information, its ease of use and lack of a confirmation prompt make it a potential risk for children. Parents should carefully consider the risks and benefits of this feature before allowing their children to use it.

By disabling NameDrop on devices used by minors, parents can take a proactive step towards safeguarding their children's online safety.