'Ask to Join Networks' - General settings query

What shall I do moving forward?

  • Ignore it, nothing will affect your phone or details if you change the settings to 'On'.

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Restore your device, it may have been compromised!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1
  • Poll closed .

Braders88

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2013
29
3
Liverpool, England
Hello Mac Community,

Another question has arisen related to WiFi and Security. I am looking to get a proper answer as Google has revealed a mixed bag of decisions through multiple forums. People leaning one way and others leaning the other.

Most of you are probably familiar with the settings under WiFi labelled 'Ask to Join Networks'. My question lies with this selection and is simply this.... What on earth does it do when On/Off? When disabled will my phone automatically be joining Free/encrypted WiFi.

I received a new iPhone recently and it was only today I realised (by Apples very ridiculous default) that this 'Ask to Join Networks' option is turned 'Off'. In my place of work we have multiple Free WiFi spots as well as other individuals who created their own Hotspots.

I will ask bluntly - has my phone been connecting to these unsecured/unencrypted networks throughout my time in work when under the 'Off' setting? I read that your iPhone will prompt you with an annoying popup when hotspots are available but there was no mention of the open and unencrypted networks. I am concerned my device has been connected to other networks without my knowledge throughout the day. (Note: It stays in my bag, I have not accessed it at any time in the building as I use my work phone).

If there is someone who knows the definitive answer to this then I would really appreciate your feedback?
How can I be sure my device isn't compromised? Would it be worth restoring my phone to factory settings?

All your answers will be very much appreciated.

Thanks all!
Braders88
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,420
15,974
With the setting on or off the device won't join networks automatically unless they have been joined before (through a user action to do so).

With the setting on if you are in an area with open WiFi networks you would get a prompt letting you know of that and an option to join such a network (as I recall), but you still have to take action to actually join one. If you join one then in the future the device can automatically join that network.

With the setting off the device won't notify you available networks and to join one you'd need to go to WiFi settings and select one from there to join (and, again, once joined then in the future the device can join that network automatically on its own, unless you change those settings, if they are available for that network, or simply forget the network).
 

Braders88

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2013
29
3
Liverpool, England
With the setting on or off the device won't join networks automatically unless they have been joined before (through a user action to do so).

With the setting on if you are in an area with open WiFi networks you would get a prompt letting you know of that and an option to join such a network (as I recall), but you still have to take action to actually join one. If you join one then in the future the device can automatically join that network.

With the setting off the device won't notify you available networks and to join one you'd need to go to WiFi settings and select one from there to join (and, again, once joined then in the future the device can join that network automatically on its own, unless you change those settings, if they are available for that network, or simply forget the network).
Thank you so much for your quick and informative response C DM, on the back of this I should be safe then as I have never connected to anything in work.
My worry was when others mentioned open networks connect automatically - sounded like (in my opinion) a huge design flaw. Sure everyone loves wifi, but sounds foolish to assume it's all safe!
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,420
15,974
Thank you so much for your quick and informative response C DM, on the back of this I should be safe then as I have never connected to anything in work.
My worry was when others mentioned open networks connect automatically - sounded like (in my opinion) a huge design flaw. Sure everyone loves wifi, but sounds foolish to assume it's all safe!
Yeah, it won't (or at the very least isn't designed) to connect automatically without having been connected to that network at some point before (which would have required some sort of user input originally).

More as a sidenote, you mentioned you don't take out the phone at work, but just to check on it you can take it out at some point and use it for a moment and that will show you if it's connecting to WiFi or doing anything else you might not be expecting.
 

Braders88

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2013
29
3
Liverpool, England
Yeah, it won't (or at the very least isn't designed) to connect automatically without having been connected to that network at some point before (which would have required some sort of user input originally).

More as a sidenote, you mentioned you don't take out the phone at work, but just to check on it you can take it out at some point and use it for a moment and that will show you if it's connecting to WiFi or doing anything else you might not be expecting.
Ahhh, yes! A very good point indeed - I will certainly give is a try!

Thanks again C DM!
 
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