Worried About iPhone Theft? Protect Your Financial Data with This Hidden Setting

If you own an iPhone, you know how valuable it is not just for communication, but also for storing sensitive financial data. While the latest iPhones come with advanced security features like Face ID and Touch ID, there is still a risk of theft if someone gains access to your device passcode. Fortunately, Apple has introduced a hidden setting called Stolen Device Protection to address this concern.

What Is Stolen Device Protection on iPhone?

Thieves have become increasingly sophisticated in their methods of stealing iPhones. They often target unsuspecting victims in public places such as cafes, trains, or bars, trying to spy on them while they enter their device passcode. Once they have your passcode, they can reset your Apple ID password, access iCloud Keychain entries, and disable security features like Find My iPhone. This allows them to drain your credit cards, Apple Pay, and other financial apps before selling your stolen iPhone in the grey market.

Apple's Stolen Device Protection feature aims to prevent this scenario by requiring Face ID or Touch ID authentication for essential features when someone with access to your passcode steals your phone. This means that the thief cannot make major changes or access sensitive information without biometric confirmation.

use stolen device protection on iPhone

The feature also utilizes your iPhone's location to determine if you are at home or work. If it detects an unknown location, it will require Face ID (with an hour delay for specific actions) to perform sensitive tasks.

How to Enable Stolen Device Protection on iPhone

Stolen Device Protection is available on all iPhone models compatible with iOS 17. However, you need to download the iOS 17.3 update to access this feature. To enable Stolen Device Protection, follow these steps:

  1. Open iPhone Settings.
  2. Scroll to Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Tap Turn on Protection and authenticate your decision.

Please note that as of now, iOS 17.3 is available in developer beta only. The public beta will be released in the coming months.

What Happens When You Enable Stolen Device Protection on iPhone

Enabling Stolen Device Protection on your iPhone ensures that Face ID authentication is required for certain features. These include:

  • Checking your passwords and passkeys in iCloud Keychain
  • Applying for a new Apple Card or viewing your existing one
  • Deleting all content and settings
  • Using payment methods in Safari and App Store
  • Using your iPhone to set up a new device

For other critical features, the system requires Face ID authentication along with a one-hour delay. This delay gives you enough time to locate your iPhone using the Find My network.

Tips to Safeguard Your iPhone Data

In addition to enabling Stolen Device Protection, there are other measures you can take to secure your iPhone and protect your digital life:

Use an Alphanumeric Passcode

Instead of using easily guessable passcodes like your birthdate or anniversary, opt for a random combination of digits. An alphanumeric passcode is even more secure and harder to crack.

Use a Password Manager

Avoid using common passcodes by saving them to a password manager. There are several reliable password manager apps available for iOS and Android, such as 1Password, Enpass, LastPass, and Dashlane.

Enable Erase Data Option

To further enhance security, enable the Erase Data toggle in your iPhone settings. This ensures that all data will be deleted after ten failed passcode attempts.

  1. Open Settings and scroll to Face ID & Passcode.
  2. Enable the Erase Data toggle.

Use a Privacy Screen Protector

If you often find yourself in crowded public spaces, consider using a privacy screen protector. These protectors limit the display visibility to yourself only, preventing others from peeking at your iPhone screen from side angles.

Shield Your Digital Data

By enabling Stolen Device Protection and following these additional tips, you can have peace of mind knowing that your iPhone and financial data are well-protected. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to safeguarding your digital life.