Apple’s iOS 17.3 ‘Stolen Device Protection’ feature aims to make it difficult for thieves to access the personal and financial information you have stored on your iPhone if the device is stolen.
Currently, if your iPhone is stolen, all the thief needs is your lock screen password to access your sensitive personal information, but with Stolen Device Protection, this data is stored behind Face ID or Touch ID, adding another layer of security. It’s unclear when iOS 17.3 will launch, but it’s been in beta since December (this means it will likely release soon, given Apple’s typical update schedule).
Apple is adding this feature following a recent The Wall Street Journal report that outlined how all thieves need to do is memorize a lock screen code to easily lock victims out of their Apple ID by resetting their password.
With Stolen Device Protection turned on, Face ID/Touch ID is required to change several settings, including erasing an iPhone completely or accessing your iCloud Keychain. Further, to turn off ‘Find My,’ change your Apple ID password or add another face or fingerprint to unlock the device, you’ll need to wait an hour after biometrically authenticating and then will need to re-authenticate again before the changes are actually made.
I can see these additional security steps quickly becoming annoying very quickly, but if you often misplace your iPhone or find yourself in a situation where you think your device may have been stolen, you’ll likely be glad you turned on ‘Stolen Device Protection.’
iOS 17.3 includes other new features like ‘Collaborative Playlists’ with Apple Music and the ability to AirPlay content to TVs in hotel rooms (via MacRumors).
Image credit: Apple