Cases of cyber-flashing, where perverts send sexually explicit images, often of their own genitals, to young women they don’t know, have increased year on year. At least they have as far as cyber-flashing on trains is concerned. This, sadly, isn’t surprising as the AirDrop functionality of iPhones, used to send the images, only works when both iPhones are within a relatively short distance of each other, making trains the perfect hunting ground for these sexual predators.

While British Transport Police statistics showed an increase from 34 reported cases in 2018 to 66 in 2019, this is a poor reflection of the real scope of the problem. Not least since most offenders will send the explicit images anonymously, but also because the recipients might think that law enforcement wouldn’t take such incidents seriously. That only one arrest was made in relation to cyber-flashing last year would seem to reinforce this belief. One woman told the BBC last year, that she had reported an incident of cyber-flashing on the London Underground to the British Transport Police and ended up “angry at the male officer,” who said it was “impossible to investigate.”

There is, surprisingly, no current law specifically covering cyber-flashing in England, although Scotland made it an offense to cause someone to look at a sexual image without their consent in 2010. Attempts have been made to get a law introduced in England and Wales to criminalize all non-consensual distribution of intimate sexual images. However, the government at the time claimed the Sexual Offences Act 2003 was sufficient, as was the Harassment Act of 1997, but an image would have to be sent more than twice. A government review of laws that could impact cyber-flashing is not due to report back until 2021.

How to protect yourself against the iPhone cyber-flashing menace

In much the same way that the problem of rape isn’t to be solved by women dressing or behaving differently but rather for men to stop raping them, so it is with cyber-flashing. The law should protect women, as should law enforcement, and they shouldn’t be expected to change their technology behaviors; men should stop abusing iPhone functionality to send such explicit images to strangers. Simple as.

All that said, if you want to remove the pervert risk from your commute, then it is possible to configure your iPhone to prevent the problem. Ensure that your iPhone does not have the AirDrop feature set to allow everyone to be able to request a file transfer. Instead, if you don’t use the AirDrop functionality at all anyway, then disable it altogether. If you do, then configuring AirDrop only to accept requests from people in your contact list (which is the default setting anyway) is the way to go. You can configure AirDrop on your iPhone by going to Settings|General and then choosing the options after you tap on AirDrop. It’s also possible to configure AirDrop from your Control Center.

“Another way of mitigating the chance of being sent an unsolicited message,” Jake Moore, a cybersecurity expert at ESET, said, “could be to change the name on your device to something neutral, rather than your name.”

Whatever, you should always report such offenses to law enforcement. In the U.K., this means the British Transport Police if the attack took place on a train. “This flashing is often the start of further, more physical, sex offenses to come,” Moore, a former police officer himself, said.



Source link

Write a comment:
*

Your email address will not be published.