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Apple Releases iOS 17.3 With New Stolen Device Protection

iOS 17.3 is now available for all supported devices. When I say “all supported devices” I mean iPhones running iOS 17. If your phone can run iOS 17, it can install iOS 17.3. The new software update dropped last night and it brings with it a new feature called Stolen Device Protection.

The feature will help prevent thieves from quickly taking over access to your iPhone if they steal it while unlocked or are able to obtain your passcode. In recent months, iPhone thieves have changed tactics. They monitor iPhone owners and take note of their passcode. This may take a few hours of surveillance but they have been stealing devices and gaining access to them by entering the passcode. As a result, thieves are then able to disable Find My and change all your Apple ID information.

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The new Stolen Device Protection aims to add another barrier of security to the iPhone. The feature, when enabled, requires all users to scan their fingerprints or use Face ID when performing certain security actions on their devices. So instead of asking for a passcode all the time, the phone will require Face ID or Touch ID – two things thieves can’t get.

Apple says Stolen Device Protection will prevent data wipes on stolen iPhone devices by eliminating the simple passcode lock. If the Face ID or Touch ID doesn’t work, the phone will then enter a waiting period where you won’t be able to access the sensitive data for a limited time – an hour it seems. It will then require Face ID or Touch ID once again.

This waiting period won’t kick in when you’re in familiar locations. For example, if you’re at home and Face ID doesn’t work (it isn’t perfect), the cooldown won’t lock you out. However, if you’re out in the mall, it will prevent you from accessing certain Apple ID reset tools. Apple says:

When Stolen Device Protection is enabled, some features and actions have additional security requirements when your iPhone is away from familiar locations such as home or work. These requirements help prevent someone who has stolen your device and knows your passcode from making critical changes to your account or device.

  • Face ID or Touch ID biometric authentication: Some actions such as accessing stored passwords and credit cards require a single biometric authentication with Face ID or Touch ID — with no passcode alternative or fallback — so that only you can access these features.
  • Security Delay: Some security actions such as changing your Apple ID password also require you to wait an hour and then perform a second Face ID or Touch ID authentication.

iOS 17.3 also brings with it collaborative playlists. This lets friends join and contribute to a specific music playlist on the Apple Music app.

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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