iOS 17.3 Beta Debuts Enhanced Anti-Theft Feature for iPhones

  • Maria Bianchi
  • Dec-14-2023
iOS 17.3 Beta Debuts Enhanced Anti-Theft Feature for iPhones

Apple is stepping up its game against potential phone theft with a fresh security feature in the latest iOS 17.3 beta. Bringing peace of mind to users, Apple introduces 'Stolen Device Protection', a clever innovation capable of foiling even the most skillful iPhone thieves, as recently highlighted by the Wall Street Journal.

Previously, a thief could potentially compromise your iPhone by simply learning your passcode, allowing unhindered access to change your Apple ID password, disabling Find My iPhone, and having a field day with your passwords and credit card information. All it would take is a surreptitious glance to catch your passcode and then make off with your device, leaving them to do as they please remotely unchallenged.

Enter 'Stolen Device Protection,' a game-changer in securing your digital possessions. When this feature is activated, it ensures that critical actions, such as disabling Lost Mode, erasing data, and more, exclusively require biometric identification through Face ID or Touch ID instead of just a passcode. This biometric layer significantly enhances defense against unauthorized access, anchoring your private information more securely.

The feature doesn't stop there; it has an added mechanism for extra sensitive operations like modifying your Apple ID password or the device's passcode. In these instances, authentication must be verified via Face ID or Touch ID, followed by a one-hour waiting period before a second biometric confirmation is required.

This extra security step is bypassed when the phone is in familiar settings like your home or workplace, ensuring easy modification for the legitimate owner. However, even in unfamiliar locales, you can still proceed with changes, just with a modest wait, a small trade-off for bolstering your defense against theft.

Apple has made 'Stolen Device Protection' an optional feature that needs manual activation. iPhone users participating in the iOS 17.3 beta can enable it through the path: Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Stolen Device Protection. It's a prudent measure to opt in, fortify your iPhone against unwelcome advances, and secure your digital footprint.