iOS 11 has been released to the general public for almost three months now, but it seems Apple has grazed over a major safety protocol concerning Wi-Fi connectivity.
The new update completely reworked a lot of design issues from past updates, and one of the main facelifts was the Control Center. At the lock screen, or at home, the user can simply swipe up from the bottom of their device, to bring up a menu with shortcuts usually found in settings.
Control Center has always been a key feature of iOS, and the new layout is clean, appealing easy to navigate. However, among its new design features, Apple also made a major functional change to how your phone disconnects and connects to Wi-Fi networks. And it could be dangerous.
Currently, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons both glow blue while connected to a network. But when the user disconnects from the network by tapping on the blue button, your iPhone will only disconnect from that network, leaving your phone free to roam and connect to any open networks you may pass throughout your day.
Previous iterations of iOS turned off Wi-Fi in your Control Center until you wanted it back on, but this update makes your device more vulnerable to hackers. While you’re at a Starbucks, for example, studying or catching up on work and you connect to its wireless network, you join with many other people sharing the same bandwidth. Once connected to an unsecured network, a hacker could easily access your device, which could include your credit cards, social security number, and other private information.
To disable this feature, users must go into Settings and permanently turn Wi-Fi off. Then, to connect to a network again, users must manually turn it back on. This process is tedious, time-consuming and the embodiment of poor user experience.
Until Apple rolls out a new update to fix this issue, it may be better to be safe than sorry. Turn off your Wi-Fi manually in Settings when you are not in an area with a secure network. Keep your identity and private information safe.