It's bad enough that subway riders have to contend with sickos "pleasuring" themselves on train cars, but now your iPhone is at risk. Several commuters told the NY Post that they've found dick pics, sent via AirDrop, on their devices.
Britta Carlson described an incident that happened last month while she was on a 6 train. Her phone received a message, "iPhone 1 would like to share a note with you." She accepted it, and "It was just a huge close-up picture of a disgusting penis."
Carlson's AirDrop was set to "Everyone" because she uses it it at work. "It never even crossed my mind that someone may use it to send stuff like that," she told the paper.
iPhones have three settings for AirDrop: "Contacts Only," "Everyone," and "Receiving Off." The default setting is "Contacts Only," but some people don't realize they have their phones set to receive AirDrops from "Everyone," and that's what the perverts, who can send photos to anyone with that setting within Bluetooth range, are taking advantage of.
Another victim, Frankie Navisch, said that "Eduardo’s picture" was offered to him, "with a preview photo of a man’s junk." Navisch was aghast: "I wanted to punch him in the mouth for carelessly buckshotting genitalia to phones that could potentially be owned by children. Was he looking for interaction, or is all he wanted was someone to look at his mini-monstrosity?"
You can check to see what your settings for AirDrop by swiping up on your iPhone for the Control Center.
Cyber-flashing is not entirely new—a woman on the London was "cyber-flashed" in 2015 and a British security consultant pointed out, "With AirDrop you don't have the option to not see an image sent to you, it shows as a preview which you then accept or decline... If someone sends you an abhorrent image you can't unsee it. Much as it may upset you our advice is to save it, and then contact the police."
If you see or experience sexual misconduct in the subway (this includes seeing a masturbator, being groped, being grinded on, etc.), you can report it to the MTA and police on this website. There's also a place for you to upload photos and/or video. Don't let the perverts win.