iOS 17.3 beta offers new Stolen Device Protection feature, here’s how it works

To address the rising concern of data loss due to iPhone thefts, Apple has unveiled a groundbreaking feature called “Stolen Device Protection” in the first beta of iOS 17.3. This feature aims to fortify iPhone security by adding an extra layer of defense against unauthorized access, especially in scenarios where both the device and passcode fall into the wrong hands.

iOS 17.3

Protect your iPhone from theft with Stolen Device Protection’s biometric authentication in iOS 17.3 beta

Earlier this year, reports surfaced about thieves exploiting instances where they observed victims entering iPhone passcodes in public places. Subsequently, these thieves would seize the opportunity to steal the device, change the Apple ID password, and gain control over the victim’s digital life. Apple’s response to this emerging threat is the innovative Stolen Device Protection feature.

The Stolen Device Protection feature, available for testing in the iOS 17.3 beta, operates on a two-tier system. First, it mandates Face ID or Touch ID authentication for actions such as accessing saved passwords, applying for an Apple Card, turning off Lost Mode, erasing the iPhone, and utilizing payment methods saved in Safari. This eliminates the possibility of a thief gaining access solely with the passcode.

iOS 17 stolen iPhone feature

For particularly sensitive actions, a security delay is introduced on top of biometric authentication. Changing the Apple ID password, updating security settings, altering the iPhone passcode, and other critical settings will require the user to authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID, wait one hour, and then authenticate again. Notably, this delay does not apply when the iPhone is in familiar locations like home or work, streamlining the user experience.

Stolen Device Protection is an opt-in feature found in the Settings app under “Face ID & Passcode,” providing users with the flexibility to choose their level of security. During the iOS 17.3 beta phase, users will be prompted to test the preview of the feature, ensuring they have the option to enhance their device’s security.

Face ID iOS

This robust security feature is set to be available on all iPhone models compatible with iOS 17, including the iPhone XS and newer models. While the exact release date of iOS 17.3 to the public is anticipated in January or February, the beta phase allows users and developers to explore and contribute feedback on this innovative security enhancement.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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