A new report was published on The Wall Street Journal by Joanna Stern and Nicole Nguyen which talks about thieves spying on passcodes before stealing phones from victims. This helps them to easily gain access to the device, data and money.
Many victims were interviewed, and they all had very similar stories as to how they lost their devices. All of them reported that they lost their phones at bars or other public places. Some victims claim the phones were snatched from their hands at night while others say they lost their phones through physical assault and intimidations.
With the passcode of the phones in the wrong hand, a lot of damages can occur. The thieves can be able to reset the victim’s Apple ID password, change the password of course and even remove the Apple ID from the device. When this is done, it means “Find My” will automatically turn off to prevent the owners from tracking their phones. The thief can also remove all trusted devices and totally claim ownership of the device.
The worse part of this is not really about losing your phone. It can even make users lose more money in the process. The thief can be able to use Apple Pay and Even send Apple Cash. They can be able to access banking apps through passwords that the user may have stored in the Apple Keychain. Within the Apple Keychain, the thief can have access to several passwords and emails that can give them access to other sensitive information. Simply put, if your iPhone passcode gets into the wrong hands, your whole digital life could be at risk.
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Apple Responds to this Report
An Apple spokesperson has come out to respond to this report. In his response, he said “security researchers agree that iPhone is the most secure consumer mobile device. And we work tirelessly every day to protect all our users from new and emerging threats.” He added that “We sympathize with users who have had this experience and we take all attacks on our users very seriously, no matter how rare”. He also said Apple will continue to advance its protections to keep users’ accounts safe. However, he did not state any specific steps apple will take in order to enhance security.
On the other hand, Stern made a number of recommendations on Twitter. He recommended that Apple adds extra layer of protection to iOS. He also urged Apple to introduce additional Apple ID account recovery options.
How To Protect Your iPhone Passcode
In stern’s tweet, he recommended that users who use the four-digits passcodes should switch to using the alphanumeric passwords. They can simply do this by going to the Settings app>Face ID & Passcode > Change Passcode.
He also recommends that iPhone users should use more of Face ID or Touch ID when in public places. If there is the need to use the passcode, users can cover their screens with the other hand to avoid spying. In order to keep banking apps safe, users are advised to use third-party password manager apps that does not make use of device passcode. Example of such apps is 1Password.
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