Protect your iPhone right away by enabling this setting

@gregsgadgets/TikTok DenPhotos/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Basically, if the thief steals your phone, they can’t change your settings’: Apple’s new iOS comes with this iPhone protection

'Please share this with everyone you know that owns an iPhone right now.'


Eric Webb


Posted on Feb 8, 2024   Updated on Feb 14, 2024, 12:36 pm CST

It just got a little harder for iPhone thieves to wreak havoc on your life.

While a popular tech content creator says a new security setting is a must, some users are having a little trouble figuring out how to access it.

The feature in question is called Stolen Device Protection, and it’s available with Apple’s iOS 13.7, which launched on Jan. 22

“Stolen Device Protection adds a layer of security when your iPhone is away from familiar locations, such as home or work, and helps protect your accounts and personal information in case your iPhone is ever stolen,” according to Apple

Tech expert and content creator Gregory McFadden (@gregsgadgets) posted a viral video on Jan. 23 that urged viewers to activate the security setting. The video has 2.2 million views and more than 74,000 likes.

“Pay attention, this is very important,” McFadden said in the video. “You need to update your phone to iOS 17.3, and once you do that, you need to turn on this setting right away.”

McFadden cited reports of iPhone thefts where thieves learned the owners’ passcodes and used them to access sensitive info. “Once they have access to your passcode, they can change a lot on your device. They can even change your Apple ID password and get access to your stored credit cards,” he said.

This new setting prevents that kind of identity theft by “only allowing you to change your Apple ID password and other sensitive security information when you’re at a trusted location like your home,” McFadden added. If you’re not at one of those trusted locations, the setting will require users to wait an hour before trying again, and when the hour has elapsed, the phone will perform a Face ID or Touch ID check.

“Basically, if the thief steals your phone, they can’t change your settings because they don’t have access to that biometric data,” McFadden said.

@gregsgadgets Protect your iPhone right away by enabling this setting in iOS 17.3 #iphone #ios17 ♬ original sound – GregsGadgets

To turn on the setting, the creator said, go to the Settings app, select Face ID & Passcode, enter your Passcode, scroll to Stolen Device Protection, and turn that on.

“Please share this with everyone you know that owns an iPhone right now,” he concluded.

The vast majority of comments on McFadden’s video were from viewers who couldn’t find the setting on their iPhone, even after upgrading to iOS 17.3, with several wondering if it had to do with their device model. As a few other commenters pointed out, it more likely has to do with additional settings.

In response to an email request for comment, a representative for Apple referred the Daily Dot to the company’s official support support documentation. It states that before turning on the new security feature, users must first enable the following: two-factor authentication for their Apple ID, a device passcode, Face ID or Touch ID, Find My, and Significant Locations (Location Services).

One commenter wrote, “In case you get mugged and they want access, waiting an hour makes it more difficult.” There’s a reason for the delay, according to Apple: “In the event that your iPhone is stolen, the security delay is designed to prevent a thief from performing critical operations so that you can mark your device as lost and make sure your Apple account is secure.”

Some users had questions about how a trusted location is determined. “So basically this will work at my house, McDonald’s drive thru and Disneyland. Got it,” one viewer of McFadden’s video wrote. According to Apple, “Familiar locations typically include your home, work, and certain other locations where you regularly use your iPhone.”

The tech giant also specifies, “If you try to turn off Stolen Device Protection when you’re not in a familiar location, a security delay starts before you can turn it off. You should turn off Stolen Device Protection before you sell, give away, or trade in your iPhone.”

Apple’s support page also includes a list of iPhone tasks that are protected by the new security feature. 

One commenter on TikTok wondered, “Why isn’t this automatic?”

The Daily Dot also reached out to McFadden for comment via email.

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*First Published: Feb 8, 2024, 11:00 pm CST