iOS 7: Activation Lock Feature
With the advancement of the new iOS 7, the enhanced features of Find My iPhone has become a stronger security offered by Activation Lock which may be a deterrent for thieves. This new feature built into Find My iPhone will make it harder for anyone else to use or sell your device if it is ever lost or stolen.
In iOS 6, a thief can just go to settings and easily disable the Find My iPhone feature, but now when someone tries to turn off the Find My iPhone, the Apple ID and account password of the owner will be required, thus preventing any person from disabling it. The person who has the device also can’t restore it or reactivate it without the account credentials. Only the phone number and a custom message that asks the person with the phone to return it to its rightful owner.
To use Activation Lock, you must first turn on Find My iPhone in the Settings. Open the Settings app, tap iCloud and then Find My iPhone. Make sure the slider is set to the on position.
In the event that your iPhone goes missing, you can point your browser to iCloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID and password. Click on the Find My iPhone app and then wait for iCloud to find your iPhone. When the iPhone is located, you can click on it to bring up the details. There will be an option to play a sound to help find your iPhone if it is lost nearby. You can also put your iPhone in Lost Mode, which locks the phone with a passcode you supply and displays a custom message such as “I’m Stolen” or “Bring Me Home.”
To feel more secured, you can easily delete all your data by clicking on the “Erase iPhone” option. It also locks your device and prevents it from being reset. If you opt to do this, you will lose your data and may not get your device back, but you can take some satisfaction that the device will be useless to the thief.
However, if you sell the device remember to turn off Find My iPhone feature for obvious reason. Or you can just reset the device by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. That will delete all your data and turn off Find My iPhone, too.