Police investigate new ‘cyber-flashing’ crime
A female commuter describes how she was left feeling ‘violated’ after receiving an unwanted sexual image on her smart phone
Police are investigating a ‘new’ crime after a commuter received an unwanted picture of a penis via Apple’s Airdrop function.
Dubbed ‘cyber-flashing’, a 34-year-old woman contacted British Transport Police after she received the unwanted image while she was heading to work.
Lorraine Crighton-Smith, who was travelling on a train in south London, told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “I had Airdrop switched on because I had been using it previously to send photos to another iPhone user – and a picture appeared on the screen of a man’s penis, which I was quite shocked by.
“So, I declined the image, instinctively, and another image appeared, at which [point] I realised someone nearby must be sending them, and that concerned me. I felt violated, it was a very unpleasant thing to have forced upon my screen.`
“I was also worried about who else might have been a recipient, it might have been a child, someone more vulnerable than me.
“My name on Airdrop says Lorraine so they knew they were sending it to a woman. The images were of a sexual nature and it was distressing.”
Transport police are investigating the ‘new’ crime, and have urged anybody else who suffers something similar to come forward.
3 Steps to Protect YOU Now:
This is a problem for iOS and Mac users right out of the box, so I am only covering these devices. We can protect ourselves from CYBER FLASHING very easily.
- Change your air drop settings (swipe up to get to your control center)
- Turn off air drop or
- Set air drop to “Only Contacts”
- Change your device names. Don’t use your name/location AT ALL.
- iOS Device (iPhone, iPad, etc): Settings > General > About > Name
- Mac Computer: System Preferences > Sharing > Computer Name
- Turn off Wifi and/or Bluetooth (Air Drop requires these to work)
Do this on your devices, your family’s devices, your kid’s devices. SAVE YOURSELF NOW! There is NO REASON for you to be a victim!