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How the stolen device protection feature can save cash and stress.

TechnologyHow the stolen device protection feature can save cash and stress.

The exact crime it protects against may be rare, according to Apple, but a pair of tech journalists and thousands of victims who have lost millions of dollars beg to differ. Many weekends, I wake up with emails from people who say they were victims. They lost decades of photos and life-savings, and were shocked that their phone wasn't as protected as they thought it was, according to a Wall Street Journal senior personal technology columnist. The last year has seen a growing crime where thieves exploit Apple software and human vulnerabilities. The second they get the password, they take the actual phone, too. The victims are already locked out of their device when they realize that their phone is gone. The minimum amount that is usually taken is $10,000 and the maximum amount is $50,000 from a single stolen phone. Law enforcement in cities around the world say that it is becoming a big problem, and they don't know what to do about it. There is nothing to lose if you turn on the Stolen Device Protection feature.

The easiest way to check is to go to your settings. You can start typing "Stolen Device Protection" at the top of the screen. If you have automatic updates toggled on, you must go into your settings and tap it manually to push it through. Touch ID and Passcode can be entered on an iPhone with a Home button. If you don't see the stolen device protection section, you may need to set up Face ID or Touch ID first. If you have this feature turned on, a thief can't just get in and lock you out. Before you can do certain things, you have to use Face ID or Touch ID.

Paying with payment methods saved in the browser.

Erasing all settings and content.

Applying for an Apple Card.

The virtual card number is for Apple Card.

To make sure your phone knows your location, head back into your settings, Privacy & Security, and then scroll. Make sure that is on.

Apple's Mac is a big 4-0.

When you want to upgrade to a new phone, it's not a big deal to have Stolen Device Protection on. It will take you an hour to make that change. People who use an Apple device think they don't have to worry about being robbed, hacked, or tricked. While Apple does better at security than most, we need to insist they stay true to their word that they will continue to advance the protections to help keep. #

She is an on-air correspondent and consumer tech columnist.

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