Activation Lock

Apple releases tool to check the Activation Lock status of iOS devices

Apple recently released a tool that lets anyone check the Activation Lock status of iOS devices. Introduced along iOS 7, Activation Lock is a security feature that prevents anyone from erasing or activating your iOS device without entering your Apple ID and password first. The feature must be disabled before a device is passed or sold to another person. Failure to do so renders the device unusable for the new owner.

With the release of this new tool, Apple wants to make the process of checking for Activation Lock easier, and prevent people from buying a device that might have been locked because it was lost, stolen, or simply because the previous owner forgot remove the device from his account.

California governor signs smartphone kill switch bill into law

A bill that requires all smartphones manufactured after July 1st of next year, and sold in California, to include a remote kill switch was signed into law this afternoon. Introduced in February of this year, the bill hopes to make mobile devices less attractive to criminals, as smartphone thefts have grown exponentially in recent years, in several major US cities.

Specifically, the new law requires that each handset prompt an authorized user during initial setup to enable a “technological solution” that, once initiated, can render the essential features of the device inoperable to an unauthorized user. The solution must be reversible, must be able to withstand a hard reset, and may consist of software, hardware, or both.

New service offers permanent Activation Lock bypass

Chronic Unlocks has recently started offering a new service which claims to bypass Activation Lock on iOS devices that have been locked. Although the method used to get around the security measure has yet to be detailed, the service can be helpful for people who bought an iOS device that is still tied to its previous owner’s Apple ID. But don’t expect the company to help you bypass Activation Lock on a stolen device!

How to check Activation Lock before buying a used iPhone

Activation Lock is a great feature coming with every iOS device that has Find My iPhone enabled. This security feature prevents anyone from activating your phone without having access to your Apple ID or password in case they found or stole your device.

Even though they might not be able to activate the lost or stolen device, they might still try to put it up for sale, and if you don’t know what to look for, you might very well be buying an iPhone that has been locked and cannot be activated.

In this post, we will show you how to check Activation Lock before buying a used iPhone or iPad from a third party.

What to do if your iPhone is lost or stolen

Better safe than sorry, they say. This is particularly true when it comes to expensive items that contain a considerable amount of private information, such as your iPhone or your iPad. If you can’t necessarily prevent losing your iPhone or even worse, having it stolen from you, there are however some steps you can take to ensure that in the eventuality such thing would happen, you will be completely ready to handle the situation.

While we hope you’ll never have to deal with this, we want to make sure you know your options and have been proactive in securing your iOS device, whether it is an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod touch. In this post, we will share with you some of the actions you can take to prepare your iPhone or iPad, and to protect it in case it is lost or stolen.

How to secure your iPhone or iPad with Find My iPhone Activation Lock

Activation Lock is a new feature that was introduced alongside iOS 7 in 2013. On the surface, Activation Lock is nothing more than an extension of Find My iPhone, a service that allows you to track a lost or stolen iPhone as well as remotely erase it. In actuality, Activation Lock is more powerful than it would appear as it prevents anyone from erasing or activating your device without entering your Apple ID and password first.

Maybe the best part of Activation Lock is that it is deeply integrated in Find My iPhone. There is no special setting to turn on to take advantage of Activation Lock, and Apple itself doesn’t make a big deal out of the new feature, which has been praised by authorities for curbing iPhone thefts in certain metropolitan areas.

In this post, we will show you how to make sure you have Activation Lock turned on. If not, we will show you how to secure your iPhone or iPad with Find My iPhone Activation Lock.

Admittedly, the steps are pretty simple and straightforward, and chances are you already know how to do all this. If that’s the case, feel free to chime in in the comments section and tell us what other safeguards you have in place to secure your device. Otherwise, read on…

Activation Lock helps curb iPhone theft in New York, London and San Francisco

You may remember stories from a few years ago that described how iPhone theft was becoming a serious problem. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg even claimed that iPhone thefts had contributed to an overall rise in crime in New York City in 2012. The problem prompted Apple to team up with Google, HTC and others to help put anti-theft measures in place on smartphones.

Apple’s own anti-theft measures appear to be working, as The New York Times reports that police in New York, San Francisco and London are finally seeing a decline in theft of the iPhone. The introduction of Activation Lock on iOS 7 has seen iPhone robberies drop 38 percent in San Francisco, 24 percent in London and 19 percent in New York, based on the six months before and after Apple released the feature… 

Hackers create tool to bypass Apple’s ‘Activation Lock’ security feature

Two hackers have created a tool that they claim can bypass Apple’s ‘Activation Lock.’ It’s called ‘doulCi, and it uses a man-in-the-middle attack to intercept users’ Apple ID credentials as well as unlock devices disabled by the highly-lauded security feature.

The hack utilizes a vulnerability in iTunes for Windows that has to do with verifying security certificates. And apparently, all you have to do to get it to work is plug in the device to a computer, and alter a file, directing it to an alternate server instead of iCloud…

Proposed CA bill would require antitheft tech in smartphones

The New York Times is reporting that California State Senator Mark Leno plans to introduce a bill that would require all cell phones sold in the state to include antitheft technology. He hopes to curb smartphone thefts—a major problem in larger cities.

The bill is being co-sponsored by San Francisco DA George Gascón, which isn’t surprising considering he’s long been pushing for Apple and other manufacturers to build ‘kill switches’ in their devices. And if it passes, it could go into effect as early as next year…

San Francisco DA wants Apple to enable Activation Lock by default on all iPhones

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón released survey results yesterday that he says makes an argument for Apple to enable its Activation Lock security feature on all iPhones. The DA has been publicly leading the charge for a solution to rising cell phone thefts.

Gascón’s survey indicated that 78% of respondents who owned an iPhone have enabled the security feature, and according to him, that’s a clear sign that Apple should begin enabling this tech on all of its phones as a standard. He believes that it should be completely ‘opt out.’

NYPD encouraging iPhone and iPad users to update to iOS 7

The above image was posted to Twitter yesterday by World Bank’s Jim Rosenberg, with the caption: the New York Police Department has a message for you iPhone and iPad folks.

Apparently, the NYPD has been handing out fliers at subway exits and in front of Apple Stores, encouraging people to upgrade to iOS 7 for its new ‘Activation Lock’ security feature…