In response to the proliferation of iPhones, iPads, Macs and other Apple products, Apple created a tool to help users keep track of their phones, “Find My iPhone”.Find My iPhone helps you locate and protect your Apple device if it’s ever lost or stolen. Owners can log onto to their iCloud account from any Apple device to activate a list of the Find My iPhone features. With Find My iPhone set up on your phone, you can do the following:
Locate Your Device on a Map
Owners can use this option, which takes advantage of the GPS in your device, in order to locate their iPhone on a map.This feature makes it very easy to figure out if you left your iPhone in the car, at the supermarket, or at the office or school. If your device was stolen, this feature will tell you the exact location of your device if you wish to recover it.
Play an Alert Sound on Your Device
Find My iPhone allows owners to remotely play a sound from their device. Almost every owner will try this option first in hopes that the device is somewhere nearby and not truly lost.
Activate Lost Mode
Find My iPhone’s Lost Mode remotely locks the device with a passcode and gives owners the option to include a display message, giving owners the chance to provide reach out to whoever may have the device. Owners can also track their device in Lost Mode. Lost Mode will lock the device with a passcode whether the device is on or offline.
Remotely Erase All Personal Information
As a final step you can remotely wipe your device whether it is online or offline. If the device is online, the effect will be immediate. If your device is offline, then the changes will take effect when your device comes back online.
With iOS 7 or later, Find My iPhone includes a new feature called Activation Lock. Activation Lock is turned on automatically when you set up Find My iPhone, and makes it harder for anyone to use or sell your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch if it’s ever lost or stolen. If your device is returned to you, you can restore your data using iCloud or Time Machine depending on which device it is.
With Activation Lock, your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can:
- Turn off Find My iPhone on your device
- Sign out of iCloud on your device
- Erase and reactivate your device
Activation Lock also makes “secure” the default setting for your iPhone, which is critical given that digital devices have access to a vast amount of information about the owner.
Understanding the tools available to help protect your personal information is critical. Whether you own an iPhone, Macbook, iPod or iPad, it’s important to activate Find My iPhone to keep your devices and personal data secure.