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What to Do If Your iPhone is Lost or Stolen

iPhones are lost and stolen every day, but luckily Apple has robust tools built into iOS that will keep your data safe and your device unusable if it's misplaced or snatched by a thief. With Find My iPhone, you can locate lost devices, disable them, and even fully erase them, but unless you've been in a situation where you've needed these services, you may not know exactly how they work, what they do, or what information someone can access when they have your device. This guide covers the ins and outs of losing your iPhone (or iPad), including settings that should be enabled beforehand for security purposes, how to use Apple's tools to look for your device, and what happens when it's in someone else's hands.

'Find My iPhone' Articles

Hackers Using iCloud's Find My iPhone Feature to Remotely Lock Macs and Demand Ransom Payments

Over the last day or two, several Mac users appear to have been locked out of their machines after hackers signed into their iCloud accounts and initiated a remote lock using Find My iPhone. With access to an iCloud user's username and password, Find My iPhone on iCloud.com can be used to "lock" a Mac with a passcode even with two-factor authentication turned on, and that's what's going on here. Apple allows users to access Find My iPhone without requiring two-factor authentication in case a person's only trusted device has gone missing. 2-factor authentication not required to access Find My iPhone and a user's list of devices. Affected users who have had their iCloud accounts hacked are receiving messages demanding money for the passcode to unlock a locked Mac device. Y'all my MacBook been locked and hacked. Someone help me @apple @AppleSupport pic.twitter.com/BE110TMgSv— Jovan (@bunandsomesauce) September 16, 2017 The usernames and passwords of the iCloud accounts affected by this "hack" were likely found through various site data breaches and have not been acquired through a breach of Apple's servers. Impacted users likely used the same email addresses, account names, and passwords for multiple accounts, allowing people with malicious intent to figure out their iCloud details. It's easy to lock a Mac with a passcode in Find My iPhone if you have someone's Apple ID and password. To prevent an issue like this, Apple users should change their Apple ID passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and never use the same password twice. Products like

Apple Removes Tool to Check if an iPhone or iPad is Activation Locked

Apple has removed its Activation Lock status checker on iCloud.com at some point in the past few days. The tool enabled users to enter the serial number or IMEI of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and find out if the device is secured with Activation Lock, helping buyers avoid purchasing a device locked to another user. An individual purchasing a used iPhone on eBay or another website, for example, was able to request the device's serial number and use Apple's tool to verify that Activation Lock had been turned off. If the device was still locked, or if the seller refused to provide the serial number, then it was likely lost or stolen. The iCloud page where the tool was available now returns a "Not Found" page aka 404 error. Apple also removed the following reference to the tool from a related Find My iPhone support document earlier this week:How do I check for Activation Lock before purchasing a used device? When you buy an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch from someone other than Apple or an authorized Apple reseller, it is up to you to ensure that the device is erased and no longer linked to the previous owner’s account. You can check the current Activation Lock status of a device when you visit icloud.com/activationlock from any Mac or PC.Apple has not explained why it removed the page. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Activation Lock, enabled automatically when you turn on Find My iPhone, is designed to prevent anyone else from using your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch if it is ever lost or stolen. A