In the digital age, mobile devices have become very important tools for content sharing, but they still come with a number of pitfalls. With sensitive materials, it becomes increasingly important that you protect your eyes and peace of mind. For this, Apple has introduced a proactive solution with the iOS 17 update – “Sensitive Content Warning”. This feature serves as your front-line defense against unwanted content and protects your experience on your iPhone apps.
In this blog post, I will provide detailed information about this new iOS 17 feature and guide you to enable it on your iPhone. With Sensitive Content Warning, you gain control over the content you encounter, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable iPhone experience.
What is a Sensitive Content Warning in iOS 17?
Sensitive Content Warning is a cutting-edge security feature that Apple introduced in iOS 17 to address the rising issue of unwanted sensitive content and add an additional layer of security. This new feature, which builds on iOS 16’s Communications Safety feature, is aimed at protecting not just all users from inappropriate content but also several types of apps like AirDrop, FaceTime, Messages, Photo Picker, and Contact Posters.
Additionally, it improves users’ perceptions of security across various platforms and third-party applications. To provide a secure and personalized user experience, Apple has implemented these security measures as a crucial component of its privacy and security initiatives.
How does Sensitive Content Warning work?
The Sensitive Content alert works only on the local system and your device, which means it’s designed to prioritize user privacy, with all data processing confined to your iPhone. When sensitive content, such as clear images or videos, is detected in supported applications, the system automatically blurs it to reduce its visibility.
Upon encountering potentially sensitive content, the Sensitive Content warning feature presents you with three interactive choices to determine your course of action:
- Not Now: Selecting this option will remove the warning no overlay, keeping the content in its opaque state. This effectively hides sensitive content until your next interaction and requires your final consent to view it.
- Ways to Get Help: This option redirects you to a selection of resources and supports links to help you manage unwanted explicit content. If the device is associated with a minor’s account, the feature allows instant messaging to a trusted adult for further guidance.
- I’m sure: This selection serves as your express consent to view unspecified content. Upon selection, iOS will obscure flagged content, whether it’s an image or video, making it fully visible to you.
When you try to access obscure content, a warning page is displayed, reiterating the sensitive nature of the content and offering the above three options. Through this process, Apple provides a buffer against unexpected exposure to explicit content, helping users navigate their digital experiences more safely.
How to Enable Sensitive Content Warning on iPhone
To enable the “Sensitive Content Warning” feature on your iPhone, follow these steps:
Unlock your iPhone and navigate to the Home Screen or the App Library. Locate and open the “Settings” app, which is represented by a gear icon.
In the Settings menu, scroll down and tap on “Privacy & Security” to proceed.
Scroll Down and Look for the option “Sensitive Content Warning” and tap on it.
On the Sensitive Control Warning screen, you will find a toggle switch. Tap on the switch to enable the “Sensitive Content Warning” feature.
Once enabled, you will see a list of apps that currently support the feature. You can toggle the switch next to each app to turn the feature “On” or “Off” according to your preference.
Additionally, you have the option to contribute to the improvement of the feature. You can anonymously send optional data and analytics to Apple by tapping on the “Improve Sensitive Content Warning” toggle.
With the “Sensitive Content Warning” feature enabled, any explicit pictures or videos sent to you will be automatically blurred in the messaging app.
It’s worth noting that this feature processes everything locally on your device, so the sender doesn’t need to have iOS 17 or a specific operating system.
If you encounter a message containing sensitive/explicit pictures and wish to take action, you can tap on the “Exclamation” icon within the messaging app.
A menu will appear with different options. You can choose to block the contact by selecting the respective action. Blocking the contact will prevent them from messaging or calling you.
In case you were expecting to receive a picture of this nature and want to view it, you can tap on the “Show” icon. This action will provide your consent to the system, and the image will be unblurred.
By enabling the “Sensitive Content Alert” feature, you can protect yourself from unwanted explicit content and take appropriate action when necessary.
How to deal with content marked as sensitive
Once you enable the “Sensitive Content Alert” feature, any sensitive content you receive will be automatically obscured. If such content is inadvertently tapped by you, a warning message will appear. You will have two options for handling ambiguous content:
- Show: By tapping on the “Show” button, you can choose to view content flagged as sensitive. This option allows you to voluntarily disclose obscure content.
- Warning icon: Tapping on the warning icon presents two additional options:
- Ways to get help: This option provides resources and guidance on what steps you can take if you receive sensitive content without your consent, especially from unknown sources. For this, it directs you to appropriate channels for seeking assistance or support.
- Block Contact: Selecting this action allows you to block the contact responsible for sensitive content. Once blocked, that person will not be able to contact you.
In summary, the “Sensitive Content Alert” feature enhances the privacy and security of your content on iPhones. Initially available for Apple’s own apps, it may also expand to popular third-party apps like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. With this feature enabled, users can choose to view or block content, ensuring a secure messaging experience. iPhone users can enhance their privacy and overall digital experience and have more control over unwanted content.
What Type of Content Can Get a Sensitive Content Warning?
The “Sensitive Content Warning” feature flags the following types of explicit content:
1. Photos with nudity
2. Videos containing nudity
3. Screenshots featuring adult content
4. Pornographic photos and videos
5. Adult-themed memes
Which Apps Will Be Able to Use Sensitive Content Warning Feature?
The “Sensitive Content Warning” feature is available for the following apps and services:
1. Apple’s stock apps (Messages, FaceTime Messages, Contact Posters in the Phone app, AirDrop, and much more)
2. Third-party apps (Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Other apps)