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Apple only released the iOS 17.2 update a few days ago, but the upcoming iOS 17.3 update is already being discussed.

The company has started testing a new feature for the upgrade, which is said to add extra protection to the device. Something that will dissuade thieves from stealing a phone.

It’s called Stolen Device Protection and is currently being rolled out with the developer build of iOS 17.3.

“This new feature adds an additional layer of security in the unlikely case that someone has stolen your phone and also obtained your passcode.”

Once it has been enabled, it was set three additional security walls to an iPhone.

First, your phone will require your FaceID before anyone can access the passwords saved on a device, however if the iPhone is in a familiar geographical spot, including the home, the delay protocol is lifted.

This is crucial as FaceID is an authentication window in many services including financial transactions linked with Apple Wallet. And, with the introduction of passkeys, all major third parties request FaceID for identity verification.

%name iOS 17.3 To Provide New Security Upgrade

The new system will boost the safety assurance offered by passkeys. Once activated, it will ensure any attempt to access Apple or external services will need to be validated with FaceID.

Secondly, the new feature is an intentional security delay, so if a bad actor has seen a passcode, and is trying to change Apple ID credentials, Apple will force a security delay.

It will ensure that is a device is stolen, the user can log in with their Apple ID on another device and track its location using Find My. In some countries, a theft claim can even be filed with Apple for a replacement.

But if this isn’t an option, or the user is concerned with data on the phone, they can remotely erase all content stored on the device using another trusted device. This same facility is available via the online iCloud dashboard.

This delay will allow the victim to change Apple ID credentials, to prevent a bad actor from doing so.

%name iOS 17.3 To Provide New Security Upgrade

A bad actor could use the stolen device for re-selling, or for digital crimes that implicate the victim. The delay in tweaking security credentials ensures the victim has some time to report the theft to law enforcement and the carrier partner.

The device can also be marked as Lost from the iCloud online dashboard. This will lock the iPhone and prevent unauthorised access.

See below the steps to activate Stolen Device Protection:

  • Make sure the iPhone is running the iOS 17.3 build.
  • Open the Settings app, scroll down, and tap on Face ID & Passcode.
  • Authenticate identity by entering the passcode.
  • On the next page, scroll down and activate Stolen Device Protection.
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