Apple recently announced a Stolen Device Protection feature for iOS 17.3. With the new OS finally released Monday, the safety feature is now available to be activated on your devices. Here’s how to turn it on.
First, you want to make sure to update the iPhone to the latest 17.3 version. Then go to Settings, scroll down to Face ID & Passcode, look for Stolen Device Protection, and turn the toggle switch on. It’ll take a few seconds.
The feature aims to apply a couple of layers of security so that someone who gets access to your passcode can’t get a hold of your entire digital life. That’s a pretty dangerous thought considering a thief could easily glance at your screen while you’re unlocking your device, and then strategically plan the theft.
The passcode vulnerability is a big one because having that can let someone else change your Apple ID password, and Apple ID is crucial for accessing the Find My app when your iPhone goes missing.
One of the ways in which the Stolen Device Protection feature helps is by making you enter your biometrics (Face or Touch ID) when you’re trying to change your Apple ID password at a place that your device doesn’t recognize as either your home or workplace. It does this once and then it makes you re-enter your biometrics one hour later for that extra layer of security and confirm that it’s really you.
You’d also need to enter your biometrics twice with a one-hour delay to change your recovery key and iCloud keychain, which is the place where all your passwords are saved. Also, of course, you need to use your biometrics to turn the Stolen Device Protection feature off too, or the feature would be practically useless.