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Apple Releases a New Security Mode for iPhones to Guard Against Passcode Theft

Apple is set to introduce a new security feature for iPhones called “Stolen Device Protection,” designed to protect users when their private passcodes are compromised. This feature adds an extra layer of security by requiring Apple’s FaceID facial recognition in addition to a passcode for sensitive actions when the phone is outside the usual locations associated with its owner.

For instance, if a user’s phone is at a location not typically linked to them, and Stolen Device Protection is activated, an attacker won’t be able to make significant changes or access sensitive settings with just a passcode.

Additionally, changing the user’s Apple ID password or removing FaceID will be subject to a mandatory one-hour delay, followed by another FaceID check. This new feature aims to address security concerns arising from scams where attackers befriend or spy on victims to learn their passcodes and then steal their phones to disable anti-theft features. The stolen iPhones are more valuable when not locked down through features like Apple’s Activation Lock or Lost Mode.

Previously, Apple’s privacy and stolen device protections were tied to the passcode, allowing someone with a stolen device and the passcode to gain full control. Stolen Device Protection can be activated under Face ID and Passcode settings for users with the latest developer beta of iOS 17.3. The feature will be available to other iPhone users when iOS 17.3 is released to the public in the coming weeks.

This move is part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to enhance user data protection and address evolving threats to user devices. The company has a strong focus on maintaining industry-leading encryption standards for iPhone data, ensuring user privacy and security.

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