Every iPhone user should turn on this new iOS feature right now

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iOS 17.3 - the latest version of Apple's iPhone operating system - adds new functionality to protect data on stolen devices. Named Stolen Device Protection, the features protect against the situation where someone has stolen both your device and passcode.

When Stolen Device Protection is switched on, certain actions - such as viewing on device passwords or using payment methods stored in Safari - now require Face ID or Touch ID, without allowing for passcode fallback. This means a thief needs access to your face or fingerprint if they're trying to access sensitive information, and should prevent them from using a stolen iPhone as a way to get into other accounts.

There's also a security delay on actions like changing your Apple ID password or removing an Apple ID from the device. In addition to an initial Face ID or Touch ID scan, you'll need to wait an hour and then authenticate again.

These additional steps aren't required if you're in a familiar location - any place where you regularly use your iPhone.

You'll need to update your iPhone to iOS 17.3 to turn on Stolen Device Protection. You can do this by opening the Settings app, tapping General, and then Software Update. Once your iPhone is running iOS 17.3, you can turn off Stolen Device Protection in the Face ID & Passcode section of the Settings app.

Stolen Device Protection isn't on by default.

iOS 17.3 also adds collaborative playlists to Apple Music, which allows multiple users to build playlists together. Open a playlist in the Apple Music app, and tap the person icon. This will give you a link you can send to friends and family, which will invite them to access the playlist.

iOS 17.3 is available for the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and newer.

This story first appeared on our sister website WhistleOut Australia.

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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