Apple on Tuesday rolled out a new security feature for the iPhone on the iOS 17.3 developer beta to safeguard your device against thieves.
The new security feature called ‘Stolen Device Protection’ is an opt-in feature that adds an additional layer of security for iPhones by preventing unauthorized access to vast amounts of personal data stored on iPhones even if a thief gains access to the passcode and avoids potential financial theft.
“As threats to user devices continue to evolve, we work tirelessly to develop powerful new protections for our users and their data. iPhone data encryption has long led the industry, and a thief can’t access data on a stolen iPhone without knowing the user’s passcode,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.
“In the rare cases where a thief can observe the user entering the passcode and then steal the device, Stolen Device Protection adds a sophisticated new layer of protection.”
With the Stolen Device Protection feature enabled, actions like viewing and using passwords or passkeys saved in the iCloud Keychain, applying for a new Apple Card, turning off Lost Mode, erasing all content and settings, taking certain Apple Cash and Savings actions in Wallet, using payment methods saved in Safari, and using your iPhone to set up a new device, will require biometric (Face ID or Touch ID) authentication if the phone is at a location that is not usually familiar with the owner.
Further, some of the most sensitive actions like changing your Apple ID password, updating select Apple ID account security settings, including adding or removing a trusted device or phone number, Recovery Key, or Recovery Contact, changing your iPhone passcode, adding or removing Face ID or Touch ID, and turning off “Find My”, will invoke a one-hour delay before re-entering biometric data to make the changes. However, this delay is not activated when the iPhone is at familiar locations, such as work or home.
Currently, the Stolen Device Protection feature is available to developers who are running the latest beta version iOS 17.3. To enable the feature, you need to go to Settings > Face ID and Passcode > Stolen Device Protection.
The Stolen Device Protection opt-in feature is still in beta testing and is expected to be shipped to all iPhone users in the coming weeks when iOS 17.3 is publicly released.