OK, really, don’t go change the default setting, and if you need to for some reason in a specific situation, turn it back off before you go back out in a public place.
“Default settings on the iPhone are set to accept AirDrops from contacts only. But because the purpose of AirDrop is to quickly share files without exchanging contact information, many iPhone owners change the setting to “everyone.”
On the iPhone, the Setting can be located by going to your Settings then General/Airdrop. You can set it to “Receiving Off”, which disables the whole feature, “Contacts Only”, which allows anyone in your contacts to send you files/pictures/etc. or “Everyone”, which makes your phone discover-able, and able to receive files, from anyone nearby.
Or, alternatively, you can simply switch off Wifi when you’re in a place where this might happen, since AirDrop uses a point-to-point wifi connection between the devices.
The other interesting thing that the article doesn’t really spell out, is that what you’ve named your phone can also give you away when you have AirDrop on. If you’re in a crowded area with your work ID visible, and your phone is named “Mary Smith’s iPhone”, guess what? Your phone is not so anonymous when someone is sending you inappropriate files. Might not hurt to take a look at that either.
Be careful with your technology out there. Sadly, there’s a lot of bad things that can happen when our technology is inviting anyone to send us anything.