Apple has released an iOS update for iPhones and iPads, and it's one update that users in Missouri should do as soon as they can.

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Why? This update includes a feature that makes it harder for phone thieves to do anything with your phone if they get it. First, the update applies to the iPhone XS and newer models, including second and third-generation SE models according to KAIT 8.

If you're running an older iPhone, depending on how concerned you are about what thieves could do to your photos, and how they could use your banking info stored on the phone to drain your bank account, buy stuff, or steal your identity. It might be time to look at getting a newer phone.

The new feature is called Stolen Device Protection and according to Apple's support site,

"Stolen Device Protection adds a layer of security when your iPhone is away from familiar locations, such as home or work, and helps protect your accounts and personal information in case your iPhone is ever stolen."

Essentially Stolen Device Protection, when enabled adds some additional security requirements when your iPhone is away from familiar locations like home or work. Apple says, these requirements make it harder for someone who has stolen your device and knows your password to make critical changes to your account or device.

How does it do this? It requires users to use Face ID or Touch ID biometric authentication before accessing things like stored passwords and credit cards. Additionally, users will not be able to access these things with a passcode or alternative.

Secondly, some actions like changing your Apple ID password, will require you to wait an hour and then perform a second authentication to make the change. Apple says the security delay is designed to prevent a thief from performing critical operations before you can mark your device as lost and secure your account.

So how can you enable this protection? Here's how to do it according to Apple's support page:

  • First, you must use two-factor authentication for your Apple ID and set up and enable a device passcode along with Face ID or Touch ID, Find My, and significant locations. Once this is set up, and I'd say for many of us, we have all these settings set already. Move on to the next step.
  • Second, turn Stolen Device Protection On. Go to settings. Tap Face ID (or Touch ID). Enter your passcode. Then all you need to do is tap to turn Stolen Device Protection on.

My bottom line is, I want to do everything I can to keep my data mine. I don't want anyone getting access to it if I leave my phone somewhere, drop my phone somewhere, or in a worst-case scenario have it stolen. Stolen Device Protection makes it harder to do that, and it's easy to activate. Heck, I updated my phone and activated Stolen Device Protection while writing this. You should too.

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