TechApple's iOS 17.3 combatting theft with 'Stolen Device Protection': here's how it works

Apple's iOS 17.3 combatting theft with 'Stolen Device Protection': here's how it works

iPhone 15 Pro Max
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Images source: © Licensor
5:56 PM EST, January 28, 2024, updated: 4:43 AM EST, March 7, 2024

Apple typically rolls out a significant update to its operating system for mobile devices annually. In between these crucial releases, there are often minor updates to rectify user-reported errors and heighten security. Sometimes, these interstitial updates unlock new features for iPhone users, as with the iOS 17.3 update.

IOS 17.3 introduces a feature named 'Stolen Device Protection.' Described by Apple as an innovatively designed solution, this furnishes additional security when an iPhone is outside familiar locations like home or work. The feature mainly aims to ramp up data security in the event of device theft.

Even if a thief who steals an iPhone knows the passcode, they would be prevented from access by the 'Stolen Device Protection' feature. This seems to respond to stories about thieves observing their victims closely to determine their passcode before committing the theft. Thanks to the new feature, alongside the passcode, biometric authentication will be required — via Face ID or Touch ID — hence inhibiting potential access to sensitive data like passwords or credit card information.

To enable the 'Stolen Device Protection' feature requires a few simple steps. First, navigate to Settings, then select the 'Face ID and Passcode' option. After keying in the device passcode, activate the new function by tapping the 'Enable Protection' option.

Additionally, Apple introduced another feature named the 'Security Delay' as part of this update. Its purpose is to substantially bolster the protection of critical phone settings and modifications in the Apple ID account. If the iPhone is outside known locations, altering specific settings will require double authentication via Face ID or Touch ID, with a one-hour interval between attempts.

The iOS 17.3 update is available for a wide range of Apple devices. Below is a comprehensive list of iPhone models compatible with this update:

  • iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max,
  • iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max,
  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max,
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max,
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max,
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max,
  • iPhone XR,
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation or newer).
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