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How to install Apple's new stolen phone security feature onto your device and why you should do it today

Posted at 11:44 AM, Jan 26, 2024

DENVER — Apple has added a new security feature to its iPhone and iPad operating systems to protect people's personal information.

It's called Stolen Device Protection and it's meant to stop thieves from accessing your apple wallet or other banking accounts or being able to wipe your phone to resell it.

The company says it’s necessary because there's been a recent trend of thieves looking over people's shoulders in public places and watching them enter their passcode then following the person and stealing the phone.

Once they have the phone and passcode, they can not only unlock it but they can also access the owner’s money, files, photos, passwords and more.

How the security feature works

This feature keeps track of a user's familiar locations such as the owner’s home, work, school and gym. When the user is in an unfamiliar location, the feature adds additional layers of biometric security like requiring face ID or a fingerprint, which are harder for thieves to fake.

If a user tries to apply for a new Apple Card or set up a new device or change passwords or access saved passwords or turn off security features like face ID in an unfamiliar location, the feature will also kick in.

Other actions, like trying to apply for a new apple card or trying to turn off security settings, will also trigger this security feature.

To get this safety feature you have to install it.

How to install Stolen Device Protection

First, make sure you have the latest software update.

Go into your Settings, then tap General, then Software Updates and make sure you have iOS Version 17.3 installed on your phone.

After the update, go back into Settings and this time into Face ID and Passcode.

Scroll down until you see Stolen Device Protection and tap "Turn On Protection."