Accessibility links

Breaking News

Apple Releases New Stolen Device Protection

FILE - An Apple iPhone 15 advertisement is seen as it officially goes on sale across China at an Apple Store in Shanghai, China September 22, 2023. (REUTERS/Aly Song)
FILE - An Apple iPhone 15 advertisement is seen as it officially goes on sale across China at an Apple Store in Shanghai, China September 22, 2023. (REUTERS/Aly Song)
Apple Releases New Stolen Device Protection
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:04:23 0:00
Direct link

Imagine that you are in a crowded place. You do not notice, but someone is watching you and learns your iPhone passcode. Then, they steal your phone. Suddenly, your photos, documents, financial information, and the rest of your digital life have been taken from you.

A new security feature may prevent such a situation from happening. Apple, the iPhone maker, recently released an update to its iOS operating system. It has a new feature called Stolen Device Protection. The feature makes it a lot harder for phone thieves to open the device and access important functions and settings.

The company is urging users to turn this feature on immediately. Here is how to turn on the new security feature and why it is so important to do so.

Should I turn on Stolen Device Protection?

Stolen Device Protection is a new setting that is included with the latest iOS release, version 17.3. The update for iPhones and iPads includes a new feature designed to prevent thieves from wiping phones for resale or getting to your Apple ID or other important accounts.

Apple says the feature adds extra security for users. It addresses a vulnerability that thieves have used to lock device owners out of their Apple accounts, delete their photos and other files from their iCloud, and take money from their bank accounts.

How does it work?

Stolen Device Protection keeps track of a user’s “familiar locations,” such as their home or workplace. The feature adds extra biometric security if someone tries to use the device to do certain things away from those places.

It also reduces the importance of passcodes. Instead, it favors “biometric” features such as faces or fingerprints, which are a lot harder to copy.

If a thief tries to erase or reset an iPhone, the device will require a Face ID or Touch ID scan to confirm that the person is the rightful owner. The new feature does not let someone use the passcode or any other backup method.

Another part of the new feature is designed to slow down thieves trying to change security settings. For example, if someone tries to sign out of an Apple ID account, change the passcode or reset the phone in an unfamiliar location, they will have to authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID, wait an hour, and then do a second facial or fingerprint scan.

Changing an Apple ID password, updating Apple ID security settings, adding or removing Face or Touch ID, and turning off the Find My device feature or Stolen Device Protection also will trigger this feature.

Apple said the delay is meant to prevent a thief from performing these operations so you can mark your device as lost and secure your Apple account.

The company added that, “When your iPhone is in a familiar location, these additional steps will not be required and you can use your device passcode like normal.”

How do I turn it on?

First, download and update your iPhone or iPad with the latest iOS update. The update works for iPhone XS and newer models, including second- and third-generation SE models.

Then go to your settings, scroll down to “Face ID & Passcode” or “Touch ID & Passcode” and enter your passcode. Scroll down and you’ll see Stolen Device Protection.

Make sure you have turned on two-factor authentication and Find My device for your Apple ID account. Otherwise, it will not show up.

I’m Jill Robbins.

Kelvin Chan reported this story for The Associated Press. Hai Do adapted the story for Learning English.


Words in This Story

thief - n. a person who steals something

access - v. to be able to enter or get into something

wipe - v. to completely remove something

vulnerability - n. the condition of easily open to attack, hurt or damage

delete - v. to remove

keep track - v. to be aware of what someone is doing

erase - v. to remove something from a digital device

location - n. place or position

authenticate - v. to prove that something is real

trigger - v. to cause something else to happen