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Apple iPhone feature that blurs nude photos in Messages app goes global: How to use it

After launching in the US last year, the feature is now coming to the Messages apps on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS for users in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

Updated:Fri, April 22, 2022 4:04pm

By Md Waquar Haider

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Apple is globally releasing a communication safety feature for that warn children and provide helpful resources if they receive or attempt to send photos that may contain nudity. If Messages determines that a photo your child has received or is about to send appears to contain nudity, it blurs the image, displays a warning that the photo may be sensitive, and offers ways to get help.

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After launching in the US last year, the feature is now coming to the Messages apps on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS for users in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

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Messages offers the child several ways to get help including leaving the conversation, blocking the contact, leaving a group message, and accessing online safety resources and reassures the child that it's okay if they don't want to view the photo or continue the conversation.

As an additional precaution, the child has the option to message an adult that they trust about the photo. If the child is under 13, Messages prompts the child to start a conversation with their parent or guardians.

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How to turn on communication safety feature on Apple devices

You can turn on communication safety at any time in Screen Time settings for your child's account. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > Screen Time. On a Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Screen Time. (If you haven't already turned on Screen Time, use parental controls to turn it on.)

Tap the name of a child in your family group.

Then tap Communication Safety, and tap Continue.

Turn on Check for Sensitive Photos. You may need to enter the Screen Time passcode for the device.

If the child chooses to view or send the photo, Messages confirms that they're sure they want to do so and suggests alternatives, again reassuring the child that it's okay not to participate and that more help is available.

According to The Verge, Apple is also expanding the rollout of a new feature for Spotlight, Siri, and Safari searches that will point users toward safety resources if they search for topics relating to child sexual abuse.

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