Apple bringing stolen device protection in iOS 17.3

Apple stolen device protection is aimed at preventing someone from using your passcode to change your Apple account

Apple is making security changes to protect iPhone users if their phone is stolen, aimed at preventing someone from using your passcode to change your Apple account.

It comes after reports of thieves watching a person tap in their passcode then stealing the iPhone and accessing financial accounts and locking the owner out.

In many cases, victims were also locked out of their iCloud-stored pictures and videos, essentially stealing someone’s digital life.

As for the new feature, it’s called “Stolen Device Protection” and makes it harder to change the Apple ID password when you’re away from a familiar location, like home or work.

Once the setting is enabled, your phone will lock down certain settings unless you’re in a familiar location, like home or at work. If someone tries to change an Apple ID password, update Apple security settings, or access passwords stored in Keychain, they’ll have to authenticate with Touch ID or Face ID and then wait an hour to make changes.

Apple Stolen Device Protection

Second Layer of Security

Stolen Device Protection adds an extra layer of security to your iPhone. Even if a thief knows your passcode, they won’t be able to misuse your phone if it’s not at your usual locations like home or work.

FaceID Requirement

If your phone is at an unfamiliar location and Stolen Device Protection is enabled, your phone will require FaceID recognition along with the passcode to perform sensitive actions.

These actions include viewing stored passwords or wiping the phone. So, a thief can’t make these changes or see these settings with just your passcode.

Delay in Changing Settings

Any attempt to change your Apple ID password or remove FaceID will trigger a mandatory one-hour delay. After this delay, a FaceID check is required again.

Protection Against Scams

This feature is particularly useful against scams where attackers trick victims into revealing their passcodes and then steal their phones.

Previously, anyone with a stolen device and passcode could take full control of the phone. But now, even if a thief knows your passcode, they can’t disable theft protections like Apple’s Activation Lock feature or Lost Mode.

Apple plans to include it in an upcoming iOS software update iOS 17.3. Stolen Device Protection is available for iOS 17.3 beta testers to try right now.