April 24, 2024

Apple Rolls out Stolen Device Protection in New iPhone Update

Adding an extra layer of protection to sensitive data stored on iPhones, Apple has released the beta version of its new Stolen Device Protection feature. The security update is aimed at keeping thieves from accessing any personal data on stolen devices by adding extra authentication features.

With Stolen Device Protection activated, iPhones will ask users to enter biometric information such as fingerprints or facial scans before they can access certain functions and protected data.

However, what sets the feature apart from regular biometric protection systems is that it activates automatically at unknown locations.

How Does Apple’s New Stolen Device Protection Feature Work?

As of now, crucial security settings and sensitive data stored on iPhones are protected behind simply a passcode — which is usually a number string of four or six digits. To perform actions like unlocking their devices, viewing stored passwords, and accessing credit card information, users simply have to enter the said passcode.

The Stolen Device Protection feature will be included in the next iOS software update, Apple revealed.

Any thief who may have somehow obtained the passcode can perform all these actions after stealing an iPhone, giving rise to significant security woes. This is where the new Stolen Device Protection feature comes in. With this function turned on, stolen devices are protected regardless of whether the thief already has the passcode.

Rather than relying solely on the numerical string, users will have to authenticate their identity using either Touch ID (fingerprint) or Face ID (facial recognition scan) before they can make any major changes or access any sensitive data.

The additional security measures will only be activated when the device detects the user’s location to be away from a familiar location, such as home or work. iPhones will learn and store this information automatically to use it for the security feature.

To boost security even further, users will have to wait an hour after entering their biometric data before performing certain sensitive functions.

These include adding or removing fingerprints or face IDs, changing the Apple ID password, turning off Find My iPhone, and deactivating Stolen Device Protection.

New Security Feature Currently Available Only to Beta Software Program Members

As of now, Apple has rolled out the security update only as a beta feature to test it out. This means Stolen Device Protection will be available exclusively to users who are members of Apple’s beta software program for the time being.

As threats to user devices continue to evolve, we work tirelessly to develop powerful new protections for our users and their data.Apple spokesperson

They also went on to emphasize how thieves can sometimes, though rarely, observe a user entering a passcode before stealing a device. The Stolen Device Protection makes up for the compromised passcode in such situations, the spokesperson explained.

However, the Apple spokesperson also assured that an unauthorized user can’t access data stored on a stolen iPhone at all unless they know the passcode in the first place.

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