Find My iPhone
AT&T will launch a new service to deny voice, data and SMS access on stolen or lost iPhones starting Tuesday. According to an internal AT&T email obtained by The Verge, the carrier will compile a "blocklist" of stolen devices to help cut down on mobile phone theft.
The email sent to customer service representatives says the new security measure will begin on July 10th. It also states that customers "can now request the stolen device be blocked from use by others on the AT&T network", and that the line will be "automatically suspended if any attempt is made to use a device." Users will have to contact a customer service rep directly to add a device to the list. Customers with remote data wipe apps will also be required to activate them to restrict access to personal data.
An Apple patent application highlighted some new and interesting security features that could be utilized with the Find My iPhone service in the future. The application entitled “Proactive Security for Mobile Devices” lists several countermeasures to protect your phone and the information stored on it.
A lost or stolen mobile device can increase its own security level if incorrect passwords are entered, or if a user remotely activates the security features. Owners can choose to protect certain files instead of locking the entire phone, and sensitive data can be scrambled instead of wiped, then re-accessed after the phone is retrieved. Users can even utilize a surveillance mode where the device can record voices or its surroundings to help identify a thief or the device's location.
You may have heard that Apple now offers the Find My iPhone service for free to iPhone 4 owners who have installed the iOS 4.2 update. When set up properly, the service locates and even sends messages to the lost device. Find My iPhone can also remotely lock or erase your iPhone.
Setting up the service no longer requires a paid MobileMe subscription with Apple to use. To set up Find My iPhone on your device follow these instructions.