MDP warns parents about this iOS feature

Emre Çitak
Nov 27, 2023

In a recent social media post, the Middletown Division of Police in Ohio has put an iPhone NameDrop warning for parents. Introduced in the iOS 17 update, this feature allows users to effortlessly share their contact information with another iPhone or Apple Watch by simply holding the devices in close proximity.

While this feature offers convenience for sharing information with acquaintances, it also raises concerns about potential misuse by strangers.

The NameDrop feature utilizes Apple's Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to facilitate contactless data exchange. When two NFC-enabled devices are brought near each other, they can transmit information without the need for manual input. In the case of NameDrop, users can share their name, phone number, and email address with another person without having to manually enter the information.

See the Middletown Division of Police's post about iPhone NameDrop warning for parents below.

iPhone NameDrop warning from the police

While the convenience of the NameDrop feature is undeniable, it also presents potential risks, particularly for children and adolescents. Strangers may attempt to exploit the feature to obtain personal information from unsuspecting individuals. This information could then be misused for malicious purposes, such as identity theft or cyberbullying.

To safeguard children from potential misuse of the NameDrop feature, parents should take the following precautions:

  • Explain to children the purpose of the NameDrop feature and the potential risks associated with sharing personal information with strangers
  • Stay engaged with your children's online activities and encourage them to report any suspicious or uncomfortable interactions
  • Consider disabling the NameDrop feature
iPhone NameDrop warning
NameDrop can be turned off - Image courtesy of Apple

How to turn off NameDrop on iOS 17

To disable the NameDrop feature on iOS 17, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Scroll down and tap on General
  3. Scroll down and tap on AirDrop
  4. Under the Receiving AirDrop section, toggle the "Bringing Devices Together" option to Off

Once you have disabled the "Bringing Devices Together" option, the NameDrop feature will be turned off on your iPhone. This means that you or your child will no longer be able to share your contact information with others by holding an iPhone close to another iPhone or Apple Watch.

Featured image credit: Middletown Division of Police/Facebook.


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  1. Anonymous said on November 27, 2023 at 10:43 pm

    Then you keep it enabled… I don’t get what is the issue about informing people about a feature that shouldn’t be on by default and probably 90% of people don’t know about.

    Also, not everyone locks their screen, reason why ‘pocket calling’ is a thing, it is not some urban myth, that’s literally a thing, a lot of things happen when people are not using their phones and a lot of things can happen when people use their phones, and get deceived to do actions they never understand by malicious actors, that’s real life, not everyone is ‘protected’ against this features so you should use the brain and understand why informing people is good, and how real life works.
    If you want it on, then keep it on and stop complaining about the ones who inform users about weird features on by default that shouldn’t be on by default.

  2. Pink said on November 27, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    I thought ghacks might be the voice of reason on this tech fear-mongering. The phones have to be unlocked, virtually touching, and you need to confirm the sending or receiving of your data. This is an absolute non-issue, and shame on the police departments for spreading it as more than that.

    1. Jason said on November 28, 2023 at 6:04 pm

      I completely agree. Despite what other commenters have posted, this is a very useful feature for someone in their teens or twenties who are constantly meeting new people and want to exchange contact info. As you said, Apple requires people to confirm sending or receiving of the data to preserve people’s privacy.

      As with most features, some users will want to turn it off. If you’re a person who rarely meets new people, you’ll probably not need it. But I disagree that it should be off by default.

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