12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 17, 2014 11:27 AM by StupidSystem
Navweb3620 Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

Let's say, hypothetically, I'm concerned about privacy. I don't want other peers (whom aren't always my friends) to see my computer. Is there any way to disable AirDrop? Or rather, prevent others from seeing you through AirDrop?


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,405 points)

    There is no way to disable it, per se, but unless you actually click on it, it is not activated. So, even though there might be another Mac nearby, unless you have it active, their machine can't see it. And,  if someone wants to send a file, it won't work unless you "accept" the incoming file, so they can't send it without your consent.

  • Navweb3620 Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    it won't work unless you "accept" the incoming file,

     

    While that may be true, I'm a firm believer that a simple virus will run a script that will automate this acception. If you disable AirPort, does that disable AirDrop as well?

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,405 points)

    Navweb3620 wrote:

     

    it won't work unless you "accept" the incoming file,

     

    While that may be true, I'm a firm believer that a simple virus will run a script that will automate this acception. If you disable AirPort, does that disable AirDrop as well?

     

    I believe it does; although it creates its own ad hoc network, it still needs the Airport wireless capabilities to function.

  • Alex403 Level 2 Level 2 (245 points)

    yes wifi must be on for airdrop to work. So i guess you could plug your macbook pro in via ethernet if your really that concerned.

  • JeOSd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Turn on your firewall, ensure that you've configured it to drop/block all incoming connections and set it up in stealth mode.

     

    This seems to be the best method I can see.

     

    Apple: would be great to have an option to configure Airdrop to use a non-advertised/unannounced SSID so people can't see it if it runs over WiFI.

  • Glennny2Lappies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Apple:  it would be even better if you'd allow Airport to be configured in the Sharing preference pane just like the rest of the protocols and stop trying to be clever.

     

    What's good for some is definitely not appropriate for others who value their privacy or use their Macs for 'work' more than play.  For example Airdrop is just not appropriate when using the MacBook on a hotel's shared wireless network.  It just brings the day forward that Macs are as vulnerable as Windows machines.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,405 points)

    Airdrop is just not appropriate when using the MacBook on a hotel's shared wireless network.

     

    I am a privacy advocate and abhor any intrusion; however, unless you

     

    1. activate Airdrop by highlighting it, and

     

    2. there is another Mac nearby (about 30 ft) with Airdrop, and

     

    3. that Mac has Airdrop activated, and

     

    4. that Mac shows up on your Airdrop screen, and

     

    5. you are asked to accept or deny a file, and

     

    6. You do NOT accept it (or choose to send one to the other Mac),

     

    nothing is going to happen.

  • dwarfplanet9 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I am late to the party, but I did discover a way to turn off Airdrop.  Here's how:

    (from Rich )

     

    Here’s how to turn AirDrop off:

    Open a terminal session and at the prompt, type

        defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser DisableAirDrop -bool YES


    Here’s how to turn AirDrop back on:

    Open a terminal session and at the prompt, type

      defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser DisableAirDrop -bool NO

     

    You’ll need to logout and log back in to see the changes.

     

    Rich goes on to provide a script to turn off AirDrop for new users. See the link to his site (above) for more info.

     

    For  those of you who think its safe to leave Airdrop as it is, you don't know my users.

     

    Have fun!

     

    "Nothing is impossible"

  • Nigel Moore Level 4 Level 4 (1,955 points)

    FWIW, you can also set this as a preference in Profile Manager (if you're using MLServer, so it gets kicked out to all clients.

  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (15,605 points)

    Note: if you run "Bonjour Browser", you will see all the other services your Mac advertises, and if there is an unfriendly script on your Mac, it does not need to accept AirDrop transfers, it can just use the ssh scp command to transfer anything it wants to or from your Mac.

     

    Also WakeOnLan will find every active IP and MAC address on the local network. It is very difficult to hide on the local network if you Mac is actually using the network. Turn off you Airport and do not plug into an Ethernet port and do not use Bluetooth, then you can network invisible.

  • charliedeecat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This appears to not have worked

    my air drop still appears what should it be doing? I can still see my login and the Aidrop is in the finder

     


    also do I paste all of the following in the Terminal

    "defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser DisableAirDrop -bool YES'

     

    before and after  doing all of this I could not see my wifes Macbook air

     

     



  • StupidSystem Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Air drop got turned on, on desktop computer (iMac). Since I use/prefer ethernet, easiest solution for me was to simply turn off wi-fi. when I did that, even clicking on AirDrop in the sidebar doesn't do anything to activate it.

     

    I never got to try the terminal step. But plan to keep those instructions, for the future, just in case.

     

    Looks like all I have to do is turn on WiFi [NOT even using the button in AirDrop to do this]; and AirDrop turns back on! So hopefully the terminal command will work, if needed.