Update Your iPhone for This Key New Security Feature

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Thief wearing a hoodie stealing an iPhone from a businessman talking on his smartphone
Donenko Oleksii / Shutterstock.com

A new iPhone feature could protect your phone’s contents even if it gets stolen.

The feature is called Stolen Device Protection, and it was introduced with the recent iOS 17.3 update for iPhone 11 and newer models. It does two major things: adds a requirement for face or touch-based ID before accessing sensitive information like saved passwords or credit cards, and slows down the process of changing your Apple ID password.

This heightened security only kicks in, though, when your iPhone recognizes it is in unfamiliar territory.

“Stolen Device Protection adds a layer of security when your iPhone is away from familiar locations, such as home or work,” Apple says.

That means a potential thief desperate to get your data would have to hang around where they are more likely to get caught while trying to break into your phone.

This feature is not automatically turned on. To do so, you’ll need to go into Settings and then “Face ID & Passcode” settings. Certain other security features also need to be on, including two-factor authentication. You can read all the requirements at Apple’s website.

Apple also offers tips for handling a lost device, whether you misplaced it or think it might be stolen.

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