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How to protect your iOS 7 device against theft

Posted: , by Chris P.

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How to protect your iOS 7 device against theft
With the ubiquity of smartphones nowadays, it's not surprising in the slightest to see that enterprising pickpockets at large are targeting the expensive devices. This has created demand for security measures that can prevent theft, or at least help you reclaim your iPhone or whatever once it's been stolen, leading Apple (and Google) to create their own solutions. Started in 2010, Cupertino's Find My iPhone has been featured in a number of success stories in which owners of stolen iPhones used the tool to lead law enforcement authorities to the exact spot of their stolen iPhone. Unfortunately, the feature also had a major weakness: a wrongdoer could easily just wipe your device's data clean and restore it afterward with little to no hassle.

With iOS 7, Apple is finally putting an end to this flaw, by introducing a slightly obscured feature that you may not have even realized you have on your iOS 7 device: Activation Lock. It's obscure because there isn't a new setting that you need to enable – it's baked into the Find My iPhone feature, though the name can be misleading: it works for any iDevice now. In case you haven't enabled this must-have feature just yet, you should seriously consider doing so – there's only gain to be had. Simply go into Settings > iCloud > tick Find My iPhone and enter your Apple ID password, which will then link your particular device to your Apple account (you can link all your devices like this):

How to protect your iOS 7 device against theft


Once that's taken care of, nobody will be able to turn off Find My iPhone unless he also knows your Apple ID. Moreover, you won't be able to restore the device via iTunes – it'll cry foul – though it is possible to restore it if you enter the phone into DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) or recovery mode. This is the real good part, though: even if somebody does manage to restore your device using this method, he'll still have to enter your Apple ID.

Best of all, with the new Find iPhone app that comes pre-installed with iOS 7, you can wipe your sensitive data (say, you're a government spy), and unlike before, you'll still have the option to display a custom message along with a number to contact on the lockscreen of the stolen/misplaced device:

How to protect your iOS 7 device against theft


If you do get the device back, you'll be able to fully restore it via iTunes or iCloud to its previous state by simply entering your Apple ID:

How to protect your iOS 7 device against theft

If you do have a secondary iDevice, you can even use the Find iPhone app to search for the device, send a sound notification in case you've misplaced it, or go full nuclear and wipe every bit of data you have on it:

How to protect your iOS 7 device against theft

And that's about it, folks! With this level of security baked right into your iDevice, you can sleep a bit easier, knowing that theft is no longer as an attractive option. Just make sure to remove the protection if you do decide to sell off your iDevice, and you're tip-top!

21 Comments
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posted on 17 Oct 2013, 04:43

1. akn74 (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 May 2013)


I really find it weird that you can enable "Airplane" mode in the lock screen. That means anyone can enable Airplane mode and then the phone cannot be found with "Find My Phone, can it? Isn't that a Security flaw?

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 04:48

2. Dilmah (Posts: 9; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


why it is weird? Whats the point to do like that when you can take away sim card? /facepalm

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 04:57

3. joey_sfb (Posts: 2876; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


The iOS 7 improvement is already build into Samsung Galaxy devices ICS and above. It's under setting-> security -> remote controls

You will need to log in your Samsung id to use it.

Remember this feature was made available in 2012 and it work perfectly for me.

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 05:36 3

4. Dilmah (Posts: 9; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


reinstall software and your samsung software security gone. Apple security is way better because if you want to activate your iDevice, you need internet connection and phone is registered through Apple servers….

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 06:30

6. joey_sfb (Posts: 2876; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


May i know which Samsung Galaxy device do you own?

When i lock my Galaxy device it stay lock even if you remove the battery and reboot the device.

I know there is always way to hack the phone that is always the case, User control vs security, Everyone want complete freedom over their devices (rooting, jailbreak..etc) and yet they also want maximum security over thief,

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 08:55

8. Ninetysix (Posts: 1540; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


What happens when you flash a new ROM?

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 09:22

10. Leo_MC (Posts: 512; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


"Reinstall software" is different from "reboot".

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 10:50

11. joey_sfb (Posts: 2876; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Since Apple is keeping track of all their iPhones.

Would it be a good idea to buy a second handed iPhone from a private seller?

So my dear Apple fan Apple always does thing to their maximum benefits. I learned that long ago.

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 11:08

13. Leo_MC (Posts: 512; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


I find it to be a good thing that Apple is keeping track of it's phones.

I usually buy new phones but I se no problem in buying a new iPhone as long as the seller disables Find my Way.

I am only a fan of devices that do things to my maximum benefits; I have no problem with Apple, HTC or Nokia if they do that too.

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 18:39

18. joey_sfb (Posts: 2876; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Do be honest I don't buy second handed idevices for the fact that I don't trust the words of the private seller plus there no way for me to check the condition of the battery.

The best second handed option remain in Apple control which is to buy refurbished set from Apple website.

I do however buy and sell other brands like Nokia and Samsung as long as I have access to the battery compartment. I respect Samsung for giving me that freedom.

posted on 18 Oct 2013, 11:02

21. Leo_MC (Posts: 512; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


So don't buy sh devices, why should I care?

Go and respect Samsung, why should I care? I can't respect a company that uses bad materials in it's products.

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 05:48

5. androiphone20 (Posts: 1406; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


it's quite a useful upgrade, iphone theives are running out of business

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 08:53 1

7. drnggaj33 (Posts: 127; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)


the best way to broke in the phone is just hard reset the phone doesnt matter what phone it is duh

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 08:56 1

9. Ninetysix (Posts: 1540; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


RTFA.

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 13:44

16. Dilmah (Posts: 9; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


wont work on iDevices because activation goes through Apple servers via internet, so you wont bypass it...

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 11:01 1

12. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2694; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


My Nokia N9 has this.

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 11:34

14. cashphama (Posts: 7; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


hmmmmmmmmmmm

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 11:52

15. cncrim (Posts: 495; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


That is theft deterrent Apple invented. When will Android have this? One feature I love to have.

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 18:53

19. joey_sfb (Posts: 2876; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Just buy iPhone and iPad, problem solved.

Please keep Apple lock down and maximizing revenue tactic including the resale market out of Android manufacturer hands.

I do think the Samsung approach is good enough for me. i have yet lost a mobile phone but do buy and sell phones and tablets on a regular basis.

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 16:41

17. jpalyekar (Posts: 2; Member since: 21 Sep 2013)


The airplane switch in the control panel can be disabled so that no one can put it in that mode. However as one user suggested if some one does remove the sim itself there is no option. Gladly however apple has ensured that the apple if would be required to use the phone even if it is hard reset or re-flashed or restored. This is a good thing atleast now people will not have to worry about losing their devices. The other good option is the restrictions section which allows you to password protect specific changes like deleting apps on you phone. You can configure it lock out the user from switching off cell usage etc

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 19:56

20. GeekMovement (Posts: 1501; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Well with all these bugs that came with IOS7 it's nice to see some security enhancements added.

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