What is Stolen Device Protection and How to Enable It? In iOS 17.3, Apple includes a new Stolen Device Protection function to increase the security of your iPhone. This article describes what it does, why you should turn it on, and how to do so.
In 2023, stories began circulating concerning a new way thieves were employed to steal iPhones and access consumers’ very sensitive data. Thieves secretly spy on their victims in public as they enter their passcode, then steal the gadget. Criminals who know the passcode can empty bank accounts, steal passwords, and render the iPhone untraceable.
What is Stolen Device Protection?
Stolen Device Protection, introduced in iOS 17.3, makes it more difficult for a criminal to gain access to passcode-protected data on a stolen iPhone. Face ID or Touch ID is required to access iCloud Keychain passwords, Lost Mode settings, device wiping options, and Safari purchases with the functionality activated.
In addition to the increased biometric requirements, the feature adds a one-hour security delay to tasks such as changing an Apple ID password. In other words, if someone attempts to alter their Apple ID login credentials, they must first authenticate using Face ID, and then wait an hour before changing their password. The sole exception to this waiting period is when the device is in a trustworthy area, such as at home or work.
How to Enable Stolen Device Protection?
Stolen Device Protection is only available for iPhones that can run iOS 17, which includes the iPhone XS and newer (iPhone 15, 14, 13, 12, 11). Also, ensure your iPhone is running iOS 17.3 or later (Settings > General > Software Update). Here’s how you can enable the feature.
- Open the Settings application.
- Scroll down and select Face ID and Passcode (or Touch ID and Passcode, depending on your iPhone model).
- Please enter your passcode at the prompt.
- Scroll down and enable Stolen Device Protection so that it is labelled as “On.”
This is all there is to it. You can also disable the feature by tapping Turn Off Protection, but you will need to use biometric authentication to do so.
Actions that Require Face ID/Touch ID with Stolen Device Protection Enabled
- Applying for a new Apple Card.
- Viewing an Apple Card Virtual Card
- Turning Off Lost Mode
- Delete all information and settings.
- Using payment methods stored in Safari.
- Using an iPhone to set up a new device
- Viewing and using passwords or passkeys saved in iCloud Keychain
- Taking certain Apple Cash and Savings activities in Wallet.
Note that there is no passcode backup for these activities, so you cannot use a passcode to avoid using Face ID or Touch ID.
Actions that require a one-hour delay with Stolen Device Protection enabled
The actions that require biometric authentication and have a one-hour security delay are as follows:
- Change your Apple ID password.
- Updating certain Apple ID account security settings, such as adding or removing a trusted device, trusted phone number, Recovery Key, or Recovery Contact.
- Change your iPhone passcode.
- Add or remove Face ID or Touch ID.
- Turning Off Turn off Stolen Device Protection (Find My).