The extra security measures are only enacted when a user is away from a familiar location like work or home.
Apple's major iPhone security update is now available to download, designed to keep thieves from accessing users' vast personal data stored on the devices, the company announced Monday.
The "Stolen Device Protection" update adds an extra layer of protection by creating additional steps to access information. It is available with Monday's iOS 17.3 update.
You can turn it on by updating your iPhone and scrolling down to Face ID & Passcode in your settings. You will be prompted to type in your passcode, and then you can scroll down to Stolen Device Protection and turn it on.
To use Stolen Device Protection, you must have two-factor authentication and "Find My" enabled for your Apple ID account.
Before the update, iPhone users could view highly sensitive information (from credit card information to every stored password) and make major changes to their phone's settings with just a passcode - typically a four or six-digit number.
With Stolen Device Protection, users will be asked to enter biometric data via Face ID (face scan) or Touch ID (fingerprint) to access data or make changes.
For more sensitive actions - changing an Apple ID password, adding or removing face or fingerprint scanning, turning off Find My or turning off the stolen device protection itself - users will be asked for biometric data and then wait through an hour-long security delay before re-entering biometric data to make the changes.
"As threats to user devices continue to evolve, we work tirelessly to develop powerful new protections for our users and their data," an Apple spokesperson 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."
The extra security measures are only enacted when a user is away from a familiar location like work or home. These locations are automatically learned and stored by the device.
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