image relating to NFC uses

Website NFC Tag Messages Explained and Can You Stop Them

This article will explain the meaning of a message or alert with ‘Website NFC tag’, and what to do if you want to stop those messages. They can appear on your phone and might confuse or annoy you. However, they can also be useful. To understand, use, and perhaps prevent Website NFC tag messages on your lock screen, read on!

Contents

In Brief

Background

NFC Tag Explained

Website NFC Tag Meaning

How to use a Website NFC Tag

Stop Website NFC Tag Notifications

In Brief

A website NFC Tag is a close (near but non-contact) communication of a website address via a physical tag with some electronic capability. If that doesn’t mean much to you or help you yet, then read on.

Background

NFC tags are becoming more prevalent. One reason is the potential low cost of the tag. Many people are only coming in contact with them in recent times.

As a sign that it is becoming more common, Apple switched on NFC tag reading automatically in one of the recent-ish iOS updates. (for more on problems relating to that, see this article)

It seems it has confused or annoyed some people.

NFC tags only work over short distances

They can be helpful or it can be another pathway for marketers to get into your pocket – well, if you keep your phone in your pocket that is, LOL.

But seriously, what is that message “Website NFC Tag”? I’ll cover NFC Tag first, then explain the meaning of those website-related messages.

NFC Tag Explained

Not all NFC tags are for websites. Let’s take a quick step back to explain what an NFC tag is.

NFC stands for Near-Field Communication.

Of course Wikipedia has a long and detailed explanation of NFC. If you are up for some quite technical information, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-field_communication.

For smartphones and NFC tags see this section.

In simple terms, it is a wireless transmission method very much like Wi-Fi or blue-tooth.

Important Note: However it ONLY works over a very short distance, less than 2 inches (around 4 cm). This short distance of operation is good to know; don’t worry, someone is not trying to hack you from a long way away.

It’s nice to know you don’t have to worry about that!

It is very often set up to operate automatically and different devices have one of a number possible modes of NFC operation.

NFC is only able to share a small amount of information in a short time. That is, it has a (s)low data transfer rate.

It is often used to transmit basic (or a small amount of) information.

This small amount of information could be enough for its own purpose, or it could be a small amount of information to make some kind of connection for a larger amount of information transfer via another method.

Such basic information can be something like a phone number, contact details, banking details (pay by phone), or (drum-roll please…) a website address!

Website NFC Tag Meaning

As explained above, NFC stands for Near-Field Communication. It is for very short distance communication between enabled devices. Devices could include your phone (if you pay via your phone then it can do it!) or a cheap tag made for NFC in a shop or business.

They can even be in the form of a sticker rather than a tag.

We have all seen those anti-theft device stickers in stores by now right? Think of something a little like that.

With this in mind, now I want to to explain what a website NFC tag is.

Downloading an entire website page or video is not practical via NFC. This is due to its quite limited communication capabilities (I mean low speed or data transfer rate).

However, sending you only the link to the website page works fine. This is because your smartphone internet browser can then do the high data transfer rate work. It just needs the website address, and then it uses the much greater capacity Wi-Fi or other broadband connection for downloading all the website code, data, images, video and such.

If you see a message appear on your phone starting with “Website NFC” it means your phone has been very close to an automatic NFC tag.

The tag has told your phone (via near-field communication) of a website address that the tag owner thinks you might like to visit. Often it relates to a product or a store website with more information for you to read or watch – if you want to.

To open a website for you would be too much like spamming, and open to misuse.

Instead, then system is designed to give you the option to open it if you approve.

How to use a Website NFC Tag

Many modern phones have NFC capability. It can activate just by holding it close to the tag or sticker (in a shop for example).

Once you have the message come up, you can do the following.

You can tap the message on your phone and tap again to accept to go to the website in your browser app. For those of you with an iPhone that would mean it will probably open the site in Safari.

This can be handy because you don’t have to type anything.

In the old days, if the shop had a website you wanted to go to, you might have to type in the website address yourself. S-L-O-W. Not to mention the problems with typos. Not good.

I suppose in practice it is much like a website QR code, that you scan with your phone or QR code app, and it can take you to a website. The difference is that you do not have to open the camera or any other app to scan a website NFC tag. It is automatic.

But sometimes it seems these tag notifications can annoy or worry some people.

The good news is you can turn them off! Sort of. Here is what you can do and how to do it.

Stop Website NFC Tag Notifications.

If you have an Android phone

Go to Settings, then

Connected Devices.

If you see an on/off toggle switch, switch it to off.

I write “if” because not all android phones have this.

If you have an iPhone

I’m not sure if website NFC tag notifications are classed like other notifications – I didn’t see an app that you can turn off notifications for within Settings.

Also NFC is included automatically by default for iPhones 11 and later. There is no app icon in the Control Center.

However, there is something you can try to prevent NFC notifications causing interruptions.

For most notifications, you can prevent them from appearing on the lock screen of an iPhone. This method will stop specific notifications from playing any sound, lighting up the screen, appearing on the lock screen, or presenting a banner.

These are the steps to not see the NFC tag message on the lock screen, but rather send it to the Notification Center on an iPhone:

When you have received a website NFC tag notification on your iPhone lock screen:

swipe left on the notification. Then select one of the two options below.

Deliver Quietly

Tap Manage, then

tap Deliver Quietly.

Turn Off Completely

To turn off completely notifications for an app, swipe left on the notification.

Tap Manage, then

tap Turn Off.

Note: you will want to check if this will interfere with notifications of actions you do want, like Apple Pay. It should be app specific, but make sure your check.

 

About The Author

Jeff

Jeff (Surname withheld for family privacy) is an engineer with over 26 years experience. He first learned to program in Fortran 77! See the 'About Us' for more.

Leave A Response

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

* Denotes Required Field