iPhone theft is on the rise and it’s not just about the loss of a costly device but also the risk of identity theft. A recent report from The Wall Street Journal has revealed that thieves are exploiting Apple’s recovery key system to lock users out of their accounts for good. Criminals are generating new recovery codes by accessing stolen iPhones through spying on lock screen passwords. This loophole allows thieves to commandeer users’ Apple IDs, leading to unauthorized purchases, and users scrambling to cancel their bank cards. In this article, we will highlight three simple settings you can activate on your iPhone to better protect yourself from the consequences of iPhone thievery.
Limit access to your Apple ID by using a Screen Time Password.
The second step is to use a Screen Time Password to add an additional layer of security to your Apple ID. This will require you to enter your Screen Time Password any time you want to make changes to your Apple ID. Although it might seem like a hassle, it’s a worthy sacrifice for the protection of your Apple ID. To enable a Screen Time password for your Apple ID, head to Settings and tap Screen Time. Next, tap Use Screen Time Passcode and set a passcode of your choice. You will then need to enter your Apple ID credentials to recover the Screen Time Password if you forget it.
Afterward, go to Content & Privacy Restrictions and toggle Content & Privacy Restrictions on. Scroll down to the Allow Changes menu and switch the Account Changes slider to Don’t Allow. You can also block Passcode Changes to remove the Face ID and Passcode menu from the Settings app for an additional layer of security.
Create a unique alphanumeric code.
The first and easiest step you can take is to set up a custom alphanumeric code for your iPhone. While numeric codes are easy to remember, they are also easy for thieves to crack.
Alphanumeric codes, on the other hand, combine numbers and letters, making it much harder for thieves to guess. To enable an alphanumeric passcode, go to Settings, tap Face ID & Passcode, enter your current passcode, and scroll down to Change Passcode. Here, tap Passcode Options to access the Custom Alphanumeric Code keypad.
On the lock screen, disable Control Center access.
The third step is to disable Control Center access on the lock screen. This change may take some getting used to if you’re someone who regularly accesses the Control Center without jumping into your iPhone proper, but disabling Control Center access on the lock screen will stop thieves from activating Airplane mode. This is important because if someone steals your phone but doesn’t know your passcode, you can use Find My iPhone to track its location from another iOS device. If the thief activates Airplane mode, though, your iPhone can’t be tracked using Find My iPhone.
To disable Control Center access on the Lock Screen, go to Settings and tap the Face ID & Passcode menu. Enter your iPhone’s passcode, then scroll down to the Allow Access When Locked menu. Here, toggle Control Center off (it’s on by default).
In conclusion, taking these three simple steps can go a long way in protecting yourself from the consequences of iPhone theft. By setting up a custom alphanumeric code, using a Screen Time Password to limit Apple ID access, and disabling Control Center access on the lock screen, you can ensure that your personal data is secure and protected from thieves. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so take the time to secure your iPhone and avoid the headaches that come with identity theft.