Give your iPhone a security boost with this iOS 17 feature

Apple released iOS 17.5 in May, and the update introduced several new features to the iPhone, such as the ability to detect unknown third-party trackers. But the tech giant gave all iPhones a new security feature with the release of the iOS 17.3 in January. The feature is called Stolen Device Protection and aims to protect your data if your phone is stolen or falls into the wrong hands.

According to Apple, Stolen Device Protection can help protect your accounts and personal information in the event that your iPhone is stolen. This is an optional feature, but Apple recommends that everyone enable it.

Here’s how to enable stolen device protection and what you need to know about the new security feature.

Read more: How to make the protection of the stolen iPhone more effective

How to activate the protection of the stolen device

After you update your iPhone, your phone should ask you whether or not you want to turn on Stolen Device Protection. If you haven’t seen this screen or wanted to do it later, here’s how to enable the security feature.

1. open SETTINGS.
2. touch Face ID and passcode.
3. Scroll down the menu until you see Stolen device protection.

If you already have the feature enabled, it will say ACTIvE adjacent to Stolen device protection. If he says INACTIVEtouch Activate protection directly below Stolen device protection.

Read more: How to give your stolen device protection a boost

What you need to know about stolen device protection

Stolen device protection adds a layer of security to your iPhone.

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As CNET’s David Lumb reports, Stolen Device Protection requires you to enter your biometric information at least once to access some of your sensitive settings and information when you’re away from a familiar location, like your home.

Here are some of the things Apple said you’ll need to enter your biometric information to change or access when you’re in an unfamiliar location:

  • Using passwords or passkeys stored in your keychain.
  • Using payment methods saved in Safari that populates automatically.
  • Turning it off Lost mode.
  • Erasing all content and settings on your iPhone.
  • Applying for a new Apple card.
  • Viewing the Apple Card virtual number.
  • Performing certain Apple Cash and Savings actions on your wallet, such as initiating a transfer.
  • Using your iPhone to set up a new device.

The feature also uses a new mechanism called Security Delay when changing certain settings. If you try to change these settings while in an unknown location, Stolen Device Protection will ask you to enter your biometric information twice; once at first and then again after an hour. According to Apple, if you arrive at a known location while waiting for the Security Delay to end, your device may end the delay prematurely.

Here are some of the things Apple said are protected by the Security Delay:

  • Deactivating the protection of the stolen device.
  • Change your Apple ID password.
  • Signing out of your Apple ID.
  • Updating the security settings of your Apple ID account, such as adding or removing trusted devices.
  • Adding or removing Face ID or Touch ID information.
  • Change iPhone passcode.
  • Reset all your iPhone settings.
  • Disable Find My.

You can still make purchases with Apple Pay if Stolen Device Protection is turned on.

Budrul Chukrut/SOPA/LightRocket/Getty Images

Since Stolen Device Protection only protects a small portion of the settings, you should take steps to protect your other information. For example, Apple notes that you can still use your iPhone’s passcode to make purchases with Apple Pay, so Stolen Device Protection won’t fully protect your finances. While Stolen Device Protection is an optional feature and doesn’t protect everything on your phone, Apple still recommends that everyone turn it on.

For more on protecting your stolen device, see how to do it improve your iPhone’s stolen device protection. You can also check out what you need to know iOS 17.5.1other features that are included iOS 17.5 and our iOS 17 cheat sheet.

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