If you’re the victim of an iPhone theft, there are steps you can take after to try to get it back. But there are also preventative steps to take before it happens. Here’s what you can do.
These preventative measures are more about keeping your data secure. First, make sure you have two-factor authentication enabled on your Apple ID. Second, having a good password makes it harder for criminals to break into your device.
Third, you can enable Data Protection on your iPhone. This is a setting to erase all data on your iPhone after 10 failed password attempts. As long as your data is backed up to iCloud, it won’t be lost even if your iPhone is erased. Next, make sure Find My iPhone is turned on. Go to Settings > Your Apple ID > iCloud > Find My iPhone.
When you report your device to the local authorities, they might ask you for the phone’s serial number. You can find this in Settings > General > About. Write this down and keep it in a safe place, or store it in a password manager that you can access on another device.
As long as you turned Find My iPhone on, there are other things you can do. Sign into icloud.com/find on a Mac or PC, or use the Find My iPhone app on someone else’s iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. If your family uses Family Sharing, any family member can help locate your stolen iPhone.
You can put your iPhone into Lost Mode. When this happens, you can set a custom message to appear on the lock screen, such as a number to call. It also locks the screen with a passcode.
But when you turn Find My iPhone on, a feature called Activation Lock is automatically activated. It’s designed to prevent someone else from using your iPhone. When it’s turned on, your Apple ID is stored on Apple’s activation servers and linked to your device.
After that, your Apple ID email and password is required before the thief can turn off Find My iPhone, erase the device, or reactivate it to try to use it. Finally, you should also report your stolen iPhone to the local authorities. They might ask for your iPhone’s serial number, but you stored it in a safe place during our prevention steps.