Despite passcodes and Face ID and the many ways we keep our iPhones protected, it can still feel unsettling knowing how much data and information is stored on the handheld device should it become compromised.
Now, Apple is rolling out a new feature called Stolen Device Protection, requiring users to use a passcode and facial recognition services or fingerprint scans to access data or make changes.
For more high-risk changes, such as changing an Apple ID password or resetting a phone to factory settings (which wipes the phone of its data), users will have to wait a delay of one hour and then re-enter their biometric data to make changes.
This will protect users when thieves or scammers can see a person enter their password before stealing and accessing the phone.
“As threats to user devices continue to evolve, we work tirelessly to develop powerful new protections for our users and their data,” a spokesperson for Apple said in a statement to CNN. “In the rare cases where a thief can observe the user entering the passcode and then steal the device, Stolen Device Protection adds a sophisticated new layer of protection.”
Users will have to opt-in to Stolen Device Protection in their settings, as it will not be automatically toggled on once the software update is completed.
The new feature is only currently available to beta users with iOS 17.3 but will be available to all other users once the iOS 17.3 software update rolls out to all users within the coming weeks.