Find My iPhone by Apple allows you to locate your iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch or AirPods in the event they are lost or stolen. The application shows missing devices on a map, allowing you to remotely lock them and share their location with the police, ultimately making it harder for thieves to get away from robberies without a trace.
In light of the above, some brazen criminals are taking drastic action to prevent tracking by demanding victims sign out of iCloud at knifepoint in order to avoid being caught.
Forcing victims to sign out of iCloud is becoming common practise for thieves, especially for owners of devices that use Activation Lock, a safety system designed by Apple which means an iOS device, whether it be an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, cannot be used or resold when erased/reset without entering the original owners Apple ID and password.
Find My iPhone and Activation Lock are a thieves’ worst nightmare – not only does Find My iPhone increase the chances a thief is tracked down following a robbery, but Activation Lock means after stealing a device absolutely nothing can be done with it.
Signing out of iCloud has one final blow to iPhone owners which may be the sourest of all. The fine print of most modern iPhone insurance policies requires policy holders to always have Find My iPhone activated enabled to process a theft claim – logging out of iCloud at the time of the attack will not only make it near impossible for you to track your device unless a third-party tracking tool is used, but it also in some cases voids your insurance policy, meaning you won’t be able to make a claim to your insurance broker to cover you agains the cost of a replacement device.
Stories of armed iPhone robberies are becoming all the more common in the news; the Liverpool Echo reported in November how one victim was pushed to the floor and strangled while thieves tried to use face recognition to unlock his iPhone at knifepoint, whilst Bristol Live describes how a 14-year-old child near a children’s play area had a knife held to their throat during a frightening day light attack.