Apple has introduced a new feature called “Protection for Stolen Devices” as part of iOS 17.3. This feature requires biometric verification, such as a 3D face scan or fingerprint, to access sensitive areas of the iPhone, such as the password collection. The function is offered immediately after installing the update. If you accidentally skipped this step, you can find the function in the settings under “Face ID & Code” and enable it.
While this new protection is an important addition, thieves can still unlock your iPhone with your PIN code and access certain data. According to the Wall Street Journal, they can also access any app that is not protected by an additional password or PIN. Apple Pay can still be used with a passcode to make payments, so it is advisable not to share your passcode with strangers. It is also recommended to unlock your iPhone in public using Touch ID or Face ID, or ensure that no one is watching when you enter your passcode.
To further secure your iPhone, it is recommended to use a complex alphanumeric passcode instead of a simple numeric code. This can be changed in the settings under “Face ID & Code” by selecting “Change Code” and then “Custom Alphanumeric Code.”
Overall, while the new “Protection for Stolen Devices” feature enhances security, it is important to take additional measures to protect your iPhone and personal data.