Apple Users Urged to Turn on New Stolen Device Protection Feature: Here’s How to Activate It and Why It’s so Important

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jan 26, 2024 03:33 AM EST

Apple recently introduced a new security feature called Stolen Device Protection that will make it hard for phone thieves to access vital functions and settings and lock victims out of their Apple accounts.

(Photo : PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
Apple iPhone 15 series devices are displayed for sale at The Grove Apple retail store on release day in Los Angeles, California, on September 22, 2023.

Why It Is Important to Activate Apple's new Stolen Device Protection

In its recent release of iOS 17.3, Apple has incorporated the Stolen Device Protection feature to combat the rising issue of phone theft. 

According to the Associated Press, this new feature prevents thieves from wiping iPhones and iPads for resale or accessing Apple ID or other important accounts. 

It adds an extra layer of security for users as it addresses a vulnerability exploited by thieves who gain unauthorized access to Apple accounts, iCloud files, and even bank accounts through the Keychain password manager.

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How to Activate Apple's Stolen Device Protection

Users are strongly encouraged to activate Apple's new Stolen Device Protection feature immediately to stop criminals from gaining access to personal information after stealing phones. Here's a simple guide on how to do it.

1. Update your iOS: Make sure your iPhone or iPad runs the latest iOS update.

2. Access Settings: Go to your device's settings, look for the "Face ID & Passcode" or "Touch ID & Passcode" section, and enter your passcode to proceed. Scroll down to see the Stolen Device Protection feature.

3. Tap to Activate: You must tap or toggle to turn the Stolen Device Protection on or off, depending on your iPhone model. Make sure you have activated the two-factor authentication and Find My Device for your Apple ID account, or it will not appear.

This new Apple feature only applies to iPhone XS and newer models, including SE models' second and third-generation. The Stolen Device Protection enhances security by recognizing a user's familiar locations, such as their home or workplace.

It adds an extra biometric authentication measure if the device is used in unfamiliar places. If the new feature is turned on, the phone will require a Face ID or Touch ID scan to verify that the person is the rightful owner, making it more challenging for criminals as they cannot simply use the passcode or any other backup method.

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