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Activate instantly: iOS update brings improved anti-theft protection for iPhones

Activate instantly: iOS update brings improved anti-theft protection for iPhones

If you knew the lock code of your iPhone, you could previously take control of anyone's entire digital life.


You should activate this new iPhone feature immediately. Because it prevents your account from being stolen after the smartphone is stolen.

no time? Blue News sums it up for you

  • New anti-theft protection is designed to prevent iPhone theft from becoming a devastating event.
  • Until now, it has been very easy for criminals to use stolen iPhones to hijack their victims' accounts.
  • After the scam was widely reported, Apple now wants to put an end to it with iOS 17.3.

Apple has released the latest version of the iPhone operating system iOS 17.3. By far the most important feature is improved anti-theft protection, which makes it harder for criminals to make more profit from iPhone theft.

Specifically, it is about preventing a specific scam that has been frequently reported, especially in the American media. iPhone thieves take advantage of the opportunity to reset your iCloud password and bypass facial recognition using Face ID by knowing your iPhone's usually six-digit lock code.

Material value is irrelevant

This scam works like this. Victims are usually targeted in crowded clubs or bars. An attempt was made to find out the iPhone lock code. Sometimes, victims engage in conversations in which the perpetrators then playfully grab the iPhone and “accidentally” lock it, thus tricking the owners into typing the code in front of them.

Later, accomplices usually steal the same iPhone. But the material value of the smartphone is irrelevant. In fact, the goal is to use the code to exclude victims completely. Many young people do their banking primarily through their smartphones. Transactions here are usually secured via Face ID – but this can currently be avoided by knowing the code.

Your entire digital life is being taken over

Since the iCloud password can also be changed using the lock code, it is no longer possible for owners to lock their devices remotely. Thieves can use the iPhone as they please. The lock code also provides access to passwords stored on the device, meaning thieves can essentially take control of their victims' entire digital lives.

If victims set up Apple Pay, they usually go on a big shopping spree on their account. A single stolen iPhone can quickly cause five, and sometimes even six figures, worth of damage. Therefore, criticism directed at Apple has increased about why it facilitates the exploitation of its customers. A convicted thief recently explained to the Wall Street Journal how simple the scam was:

The new protection can only be stopped after a delay

Hence the new “Protection for Stolen Devices” feature, which can be activated with iOS 17.3 in Settings under “Face ID & Code.” This introduces a number of changes. Some financial apps or passwords are now only possible with Face ID, and bypassing them by entering the lock code no longer works.

If you want to turn this additional protection off again, this can only be done with a delay, so that theft victims still have enough time to lock their devices via iCloud.