'AirDrop' feature has parents, and security experts, on high ale - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

'AirDrop' feature has parents, and security experts, on high alert

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

An iPhone feature poses a new problem for both parents, kids, and cybersecurity experts. It’s called AirDrop. It allows anyone to send you any message, picture, or video. It's led to a new phrase: Cyber flashing.

Dustin Puryear is a technology engineer in Baton Rouge, with over fifteen years of experience.

“You can just be sitting at the LSU Stadium, and somebody thirty feet away that you've never met could send you a digital image, you could click a button and it would open the image,” Puryear said. “You could be a five-year-old, or a fifty-year-old, and receive an image that's not appropriate."

Puryear’s focus has shifted over the years towards security, but not solely computers.

Puryear says a growing percentage of his work is all about phones.

"As things have shifted to mobile devices, for several years actually, security was reduced because corporate systems had less control over the mobile devices,” Puryear says. “In particular, people's home and personal mobile devices are still insecure, and the airdrop issues are great examples of that."

Puryear started a new cybersecurity company, Osage, earlier this year. But phone security hasn't just affected his professional life, it's also affected his life as a parent.

He has two children, including an 11-year old with no cell phone and Puryear plans on keeping it that way.

"I think an 11-year-old, a 13-year-old, or a 15-year-old are gonna do what you expect an 11, 13, or 15-year-old kid to do,” Puryear says. “So I personally don't think that's the age that they should have a smart device."

No cell phone may seem a little extreme to some parents in Baton Rouge, but others don't think it's so far fetched.

Jennifer Phillips is a teacher at Lee High School and a mother of two. She has no intention of giving her kids smartphones. Instead, they have old-school flip phones with no internet or apps. The phones are only used for emergency calls or texts.

"There's already too much out there on the internet and at least at home, I can control what sites they go to on the internet,” Phillips says. “With a phone... I just didn't want it."

Dana Babin's kids are a little older. Her son Daniel is sixteen and just got his own smartphone. She's less concerned about his security because, at his age, she trusts him.

"With him, I'm not that concerned because he's a pretty level-headed kid,” Babin says. “I know the other day he said, mom, there's a phone number that's calling me, I don't recognize it. So I said, don't answer it. Just leave it. I said if it's really somebody who meant to call you, they'll leave a message."

Babin's other son Matthew is 13 and doesn't have his own phone yet. She says she's gonna wait until he's about Daniel's age before making that decision.

Puryear says, fortunately, parents can prevent their kids, and themselves, from the problems with AirDrop.

Just click on settings, general, and then airdrop. Make sure the "contacts only" option, and not the "everyone" option is selected.

This means only numbers in your address book can send you pictures or videos. But be careful, when your phone updates or you alter other settings, it can change.

So make sure you re-check those options.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Report: FBI probe docs list range of payments to top players

    Report: FBI probe docs list range of payments to top players

    Friday, February 23 2018 10:37 AM EST2018-02-23 15:37:22 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 7:37 PM EST2018-02-24 00:37:04 GMT
    Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives. (Source: NCAA)Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives. (Source: NCAA)

    Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to...

    More >>

    Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.

    More >>
  • Ex-Trump aide pleads guilty, will cooperate in Russia probe

    Ex-Trump aide pleads guilty, will cooperate in Russia probe

    Friday, February 23 2018 12:14 AM EST2018-02-23 05:14:34 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 7:36 PM EST2018-02-24 00:36:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - in this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Rick Gates departs Federal District Court in Washington. In a dramatic escalation of pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - in this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Rick Gates departs Federal District Court in Washington. In a dramatic escalation of pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday...

    Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed additional criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.

    More >>

    Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed additional criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.

    More >>
  • After school shooting, Florida leaders propose new gun laws

    After school shooting, Florida leaders propose new gun laws

    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:34 PM EST2018-02-23 04:34:46 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 7:35 PM EST2018-02-24 00:35:33 GMT
    (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...

    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect,...

    More >>

    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect, other issues.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly