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Apple to introduce new feature that makes life harder for iPhone thieves

Reportedly, Apple has plans to make it harder for iPhone thieves to steal your personal information even if they have your device’s passcode.

A new feature called Stolen Device Protection is included in the beta version of iOS 17.3. The feature limits access to your private information in case someone gets hold of both your iPhone and your passcode.

Thieves sometimes lurk in public places like bars on the lookout for iPhone owners typing in their passcode. Once they know the passcode, they steal the device and gain access.

With the passcode, a thief can perform a lot of actions that have financial consequences and some that make it harder to retrieve the device:

  • View and use passwords or passkeys saved in the iCloud Keychain
  • Apply for a new Apple Card
  • Turn off Lost Mode
  • Erase all content and settings
  • Take certain Apple Cash and Savings actions in Wallet
  • Use payment methods saved in Safari
  • Use your iPhone to set up a new device
  • Change your Apple ID password
  • Update select Apple ID account security settings, including 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
  • Turn off “Find My”

However, when users turn on Stolen Device Protection, Face ID or Touch ID authentication is required for all of the above actions and also to turn off Stolen Device Protection.

Apple said it will share additional information about Stolen Device Protection soon, to clarify how the feature works.

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Pieter Arntz

Malware Intelligence Researcher

Was a Microsoft MVP in consumer security for 12 years running. Can speak four languages. Smells of rich mahogany and leather-bound books.