Apple introduces protection to prevent thieves from getting your passwords

Apple introduced new security settings with the iOS 17.3 developer beta on Tuesday to prevent thieves from entering your passcode to get your info, including account passwords. Apple will likely roll out the final version of iOS 17.3 in a few weeks.

The new protections include the mandatory use of Face ID or Touch ID before performing sensitive actions like looking at passwords or using saved payment methods in Safari.

Apple said that users will have to opt into the Stolen Device Protection setting through Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Stolen Device Protection in iOS 17.3 beta.

Apple has a new Stolen Device Protection mode in iOS 17.3 developer beta

Apple has a new Stolen Device Protection mode in the iOS 17.3 developer beta. Image Credits: Apple

Once you turn on this setting, the device will require biometrics for things like accessing iCloud keychain passwords, turning off lost mode, sending money from Apple Cash to your bank account, erasing all content and settings and using your iPhone to set up a new device. Plus, certain actions will require biometric authentication along with a delay such as changing your Apple ID password, adding or removing Face ID or Touch ID, disabling Find My and turning off stolen device protection. Users will have to pass the biometric authentication again after an hour of delay to complete these tasks for added security.

The new changes Apple introduced in the developer beta will make it difficult for thieves to change passwords or get payment information even if they know your passcode.

Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal wrote multiple reports describing how thieves observed people at bars before stealing their iPhones to figure out the passcodes protecting these devices. Once the thieves stole the devices, they quickly entered passcodes and changed users’ passwords, including their iCloud accounts and payment accounts.

“As threats to user devices continue to evolve, we work tirelessly to develop powerful new protections for our users and their data. iPhone data encryption has long led the industry, and a thief can’t access data on a stolen iPhone without knowing the user’s passcode. 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,” Apple said in a statement.

The feature is currently accessible to folks testing the developer version and the final version will be available to all users when the company releases the final version of iOS 17.3.

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