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This New iPhone Feature Makes It Much Harder for Thieves to Steal Your Information and Ruin Your Life

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Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

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Each new iOS update brings safety features and bug fixes that keep your iPhone safe and secure.

And Apple’s iOS 17.3 update is no different. It introduced a powerful new security feature called Stolen Device Protection.

This article explains what it does, why you should consider enabling it, and how to get it set up on your iPhone. Let’s get started.

Why You Need Stolen Device Protection

Have you ever worried someone might peek over your shoulder and steal your iPhone passcode?

Phone thieves have been known to use this tactic to steal iPhones and access sensitive data like bank accounts and passwords.

Here’s where Stolen Device Protection comes in. With this feature enabled, even if someone steals your phone and knows your passcode, they’ll still be blocked from accessing sensitive information and features.

Note: Stolen Device Protection is available with iOS 17.3 or later on iPhone XS and newer models, including second- and third-generation SE models.

How Stolen Device Protection Works

Stolen Device Protection remembers places you frequent, like home or work, and makes it harder for someone to use your phone if it’s stolen and taken elsewhere.

This extra security requires your fingerprint or face scan (depending on your phone) to access certain things on your device.

This includes:

Now, if someone knows your passcode and steals your phone, they won’t be able to perform any of these actions without authenticating themselves with Face ID or Touch ID.

Remember, this feature only activates when your phone is away from familiar locations, such as your home, work, or other places you regularly go.

However, you can set it up to always require these additional security measures, even when your iPhone is in a familiar location.

What Is the One-Hour Security Delay?

Stolen Device Protection also includes a one-hour security delay to make changes to critical security settings or your Apple ID.

For example, if someone tries to sign out of an Apple ID account, change the passcode, or reset the phone from an unrecognized location, they’ll need to authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID, wait for an hour, and then do a second facial or fingerprint scan.

The following actions will trigger this feature.

  • Change your Apple ID password
  • Sign out of your Apple ID
  • Update Apple ID account security settings (such as adding or removing a trusted device, Recovery Key, or Recovery Contact)
  • Add or remove Face ID or Touch ID
  • Change your iPhone passcode
  • Reset All Settings
  • Turn off Find My 
  • Turn off Stolen Device Protection

The idea here is to prevent the thief from immediately making changes to your account, such as wiping it or disabling your Apple ID.

This gives you time to log in to your iCloud account from another device and mark your iPhone as lost or stolen.

How to Enable Stolen Device Protection

It’s simple — if you know where to look. But first, make sure to update your iPhone to iOS 17.3 or later.

Then, follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Tap on Face ID & Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode, depending on your model).

iOS Face ID and Passcode settings

3. Enter your passcode.

iPhone passcode input box

4. Scroll down and tap on Stolen Device Protection.

iOS Stolen Device Protection

5. Toggle the switch on next to Stolen Device Protection.

Enable Stolen Device Protection

6. Depending on your iOS version, you may have the option to require Face ID/Touch ID only “Away from Familiar Locations” or “Always.” Choose your preference.

iOS Security Delay Settings

With Stolen Device Protection enabled you’ve added a significant layer of security to your iPhone. Even if your phone falls into the wrong hands, your data and Apple ID will remain protected.

For more mobile security best practices, check out our guide on how to protect your phone from hackers and prevent remote access and other security threats.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below.

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

Herby Jasmin

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