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

Find My iPhone 5s

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…

If you use iCloud, then you probably use Find My iPhone

When activating a new device for the first time, or after a complete restore, you automatically activate Find My iPhone if you decide to use iCloud. Of course, the setting can always be manually turned off later on, but if you use iCloud, you’re probably using Find My iPhone too.

As you can see on the screenshots below, Apple makes it fairly clear that Find my iPhone is on by default when you use iCloud. Note that Location Services must be turned on in order to be able to locate your iPhone or iPad on a map using Find My iPhone.

iCloud Find My iPhone

How to make sure Find My iPhone Activation Lock is enabled

Even if you use iCloud, it might be a good idea to check and make sure Find My iPhone is indeed enabled on your iPhone or iPad.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings, tap on your account at the top and select iCloud > Find My iPhone. If the toggle is off, make sure to turn it on.

Find My iPhone Send Last Location

Additionally, you have an option to enable “Send Last Location.” This feature will automatically send the last known location of your iPhone or iPad to Apple when the device runs out of battery and is about to shut down. This can be a great feature if you left your phone somewhere and it ran out of battery. At the very least, Find My iPhone will be able to tell where it was last located.

As mentioned above, there is no special setting to turn on to take advantage of Activation Lock. If you enabled Find My iPhone, then you enabled Activation Lock. From now on, if your device is lost or stolen and you put it in Lost Mode using Find My iPhone, Activation Lock will prevent anyone from erasing or reactivating your device.

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Share your security tips

Find My iPhone and Activation Lock are the best way to track and lock a device that has been lost or stolen, but you might have some tips on how to take the security of your device further. If that’s the case, please share your security tips with us in the comments section below.