Apple launched this Tuesday (23) a feature for iPhones to make it difficult for even thieves who have the unlock code for a stolen cell phone to access saved passwords, carry out financial operations through applications and restore factory defaults to sell the devices.
This mode, which can be activated in the device’s settings, imposes additional layers of authentication when the iPhone is away from known locations, such as home or work. The tool, called “Stolen Device Protection”, first appeared in a trial version on December 12th.
The new feature becomes available when the device is updated to iOS 17.3, which debuted this Tuesday and is now available in Brazil. The new operating system is available for iPhone XR and later models.
To access stored passwords and credit cards, the device will request facial or fingerprint recognition —Face ID or Touch ID—, which cannot be replaced by the device’s access password. Therefore, only the owner can access these resources, unless there is a kidnapping.
Changing the password in the Apple system (Apple ID) is still blocked for an hour, when the device requests new authentication with Face ID or Touch ID. In this way, the manufacturer hopes to increase the user’s chances of being able to mark the device as lost to delete or block data.
These locks aim to make it difficult to resell the device, in the same way that the Celular Seguro application launched by the government works. Apple’s solution does not require reporting, it works automatically based on geolocation.
These additional steps are not required when the user is in locations recorded by the device.
The option needs to be activated by the user to work.
How to enable stolen device protection
- Go to Settings and tap “Face ID and Passcode”
- Enter the device passcode
- Tap to turn Stolen Device Protection on or off
See actions considered critical by Apple
- Use passwords or passkeys saved in the Keys app
- Use payment methods saved in Safari (autofill)
- Disable Lost Mode
- Erase content and settings
- Request a new Apple Card
- View your Apple Card virtual card number
- Perform certain Apple Cash and Savings account actions in the Wallet app (for example, transfers from your Savings or Apple Cash account)
- Use iPhone to set up a new device (for example, Quick Start)
Security delay works for these actions
- Change your Apple ID password
- Sign out of your Apple ID
- Update your Apple ID account security settings (such as adding or removing a trusted device, Backup Key, or Recovery Contact)
- Add or remove Face ID or Touch ID
- Change iPhone password
- Reset all settings
- Disable the Search feature
- Disable Stolen Device Protection