Apple has added the Stolen Device Protection feature to iOS 17.3, which should protect user data in case of iPhone theft

Following the public release of iOS 17.2, Apple has provided developers with the first beta version of iOS 17.3. This update includes an important new feature called “Stolen Device Protection” that should improve iPhone security, according to 9to5Mac.

The need for such a feature was emphasized earlier this year in an investigation by Joanna Stern published in The Wall Street Journal, which revealed an increase in the number of iPhone thefts in public places. Attackers often steal iPhones by first watching victims enter their passcode to unlock the screen, which allows them to reset the Apple ID password and access iCloud accounts and backups.

The Stolen Device Protection feature in iOS 17.3 adds an extra layer of security for when a smartphone is stolen and the thief has access to the user’s passcode.

These additional security measures include:

  • Requiring Face ID to access stored passwords, ensuring that only the rightful owner can use them;
  • Implement a delay in changing security settings, such as the Apple ID password;
  • Security change delay is automatically disabled in familiar places such as home and work.

It’s important to note that when the feature is activated, actions such as using passwords or keys, turning off Lost Mode, wiping your iPhone, and using saved payment methods in unfamiliar places will require biometric authentication.

If the user is away from their usual places, changing the Apple ID password, updating security settings, and biometric data will be applied with an hour delay. After that, the smartphone will ask for biometric authentication again.