Activation Lock

How to check Activation Lock status of your iPhone or iPad

If you haven't already, do yourself a favor and start using Activation Lock, an indispensable security feature that prevents anyone from activating your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad without having access to your Apple ID or password.

Activation Lock also puts the burden on you to ensure that the device you're buying is erased and no longer linked to the previous owner’s account. In this tutorial, you will learn how to quickly check the current Activation Lock status of any iOS device using Apple's web tool.

How to enable Activation Lock on Apple Watch

When Apple first shipped the Apple Watch earlier this year, its software wasn't capable of Activation Lock—the technology that Apple uses to prevent someone from activating a lost or stolen iOS device without first validating ownership.

Activation Lock is a feature that first appeared with the introducion of iOS 7. It works by preventing an iOS device from being activated after being reset without first disabling Find My iPhone. By enabling Find My iPhone, a user is effectively enabling Activation Lock, therefore providing a layer of protection against would be thieves.

When we first reported that Activation Lock didn't ship with watchOS 1, many users were perplexed. Why wouldn't Apple include such a feature in its popular wearable? After all, Activation Lock has been credited with reducing iPhone thefts by as much as 50% in some regions.

While we never were told exactly why Activation Lock didn't ship with watchOS 1, chances are that it just wasn't ready at the time. With watchOS 2, however, things have changed. As Apple promised back at WWDC 2015, Activation Lock is included with its latest watchOS update...and it works.

Activation Lock coming to Apple Watch this fall with watchOS 2 software update

Activation Lock, Apple's theft-deterrent feature available on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 7 or later, will be available on the Apple Watch this fall, courtesy of the free watchOS 2 software update announced earlier this morning during the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote talk.

It was previously discovered that the Apple Watch lacks this necessary security feature to dissuade thieves due to the limitations in its software and its dependency on iPhone for network connectivity.

Watch OS 1.0 lacks the necessary security features to dissuade thieves

The Apple Watch contains security measures to prevent thieves from accessing your data, but it doesn't include the necessary features to dissuade thieves from trying to steal your device to begin with.

The problem stems from the lack of an Activation Lock-like feature on Watch OS 1.0.

Unlike the iPhone, if someone steals your Apple Watch, they can easily reset the device (bypass the passcode), and pair it with a new iPhone logged in to a different iCloud account. In other words, it's totally feasible to steal an Apple Watch and set it up on a different device as if you just purchased it from an Apple Store.

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…