Friday, September 20, 2013

iOS7 Activation Lock - the end of iPhone and iPad thefts?

There's a lot to be said about the new iOS7 (don't even get me started, because there are so many bits of that drive me crazy - even though I think it's a big leap forware) but today I'll be focusing on one of the "good things". A thing every platform should have as standard, and that makes mobile devices a lot less appealing to thieves. It's called: activation lock.

The iOS 7 isn't perfect nor 100% secure (far from it), but it's not a lot less likely to get your iPhone or iPd stolen. Until now, a stolen iPhone could be easily wiped clean or restored and be used "as new" - you'd just need to pop in a new SIM card (and hope the IMEI wasn't blacklisted). But now, when you activate an iOS7 device for the first time, it becomes entangled to its owner iCloud account - even if you happen to completely wipe it out. That allows you to safely remotely wipe your device without "making it easy" for any thief (it will still be locked until you enter your iCloud credentials).

Though I'm sure somewhere down the line some hack will pop up and allow criminals to unlock locked iOS7 devices, at least for now it makes them a lot less attractive to thieves.

Just don't forget to wipe it entirely and remove your iCloud association should you ever want to sell it or give it away.

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