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iOS 17.3 Adds New Feature to Protect iPhone From Thieves

Apple has just rolled out iOS 17.2 across all supported devices and the company is now working on iOS 17.3. The first beta for the software has now dropped for testers and surprisingly, there’s a new anti-theft feature which aims to protect you from iPhone thieves.

Apple is calling the feature Stolen Device Protection and it has been designed to add an additional layer of security to your iPhone in the event someone steals your phone and also obtains your passcode at the same time. There’s been an uptake in stolen iPhones this year and thieves are especially targeting users by spying on them using their devices and passcodes before stealing the phone.

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As a result, thieves are easily able to disable Find My, access passwords in the iCloud Keychain and essentially, gain access to all your private information and the credentials needed to steal it all.

The new Stolen Device Protection feature on iPhone in iOS 17.3 adds another layer of security to your device. Instead of enabling a passcode lock for certain features such as Apple Pay, iCloud Keychain and other system settings, the Stolen Device Protection will now require Face ID or Touch ID – something thieves can’t steal from you or spy from a distance.

The feature essentially disables the passcode fallback which lets you enter a passcode when your Face ID fails to detect your face. So if your iPhone does get stolen and the feature is enabled, the thief won’t be able to use a passcode to access anything should they have spotted you entering it on your device.

If the device fails to read your Face ID or Touch ID information, the phone will lock down for an hour. It will also keep all location information active during this state. So you can maybe track it down using Find My. Apple says that should the feature kick in by mistake at home, the office or another familiar location, the one-hour wait won’t be activated.

The features which require Face ID or Touch ID when Stolen Device Protection is enabled include:

  • Viewing/using passwords or passkeys saved in iCloud Keychain
  • Applying for a new Apple Card
  • Viewing an Apple Card virtual card
  • Turning off Lost Mode
  • Erasing all content and settings
  • Taking certain Apple Cash and Savings actions in the Wallet
  • Using payment methods saved in Safari
  • Using your iPhone to set up a new device

The features that will require Face ID or Touch ID authentication and have a one-hour security delay include:

  • Changing your Apple ID password
  • Updating select Apple ID account security settings, including adding or removing a trusted device, trusted phone number, Recovery Key, or Recovery Contact
  • Changing your iPhone passcode
  • Adding or removing Face ID or Touch ID
  • Turning off Find My
  • Turning off Stolen Device Protection

Apple says the company will share more information on Stolen Device Protection later down the line. The feature is currently in beta testing on iOS 17.3 and won’t likely be released this year.

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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