Protecting iphone (not a case thread!)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by iluvifone, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. iluvifone macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2010
    Like all of you here, i'm terrified of losing (theft or otherwise) my iphone.. There's 2 things that need to be addressed if such a case occurs, and we need to be prepared for it..

    #1 - data protection
    #2 - actually trying to get the phone back..

    #1 can easily be achieved via numerous apps that "remotely wipe" your phone, including apple's mobileme, etc.. Also, there is an option in Settings (where you set your lock pw), that offers to erase your iphone after 10 failed attempts.. I'm just curious, isn't enabling this option a good and bad thing at the same time?

    Good = thief can't access your personal info, etc
    Bad = thief can just make 10 guesses for your password, then the iphone wipes itself, giving him a brand new iphone? I'm not exactly sure of what happens after the 10th try, so if someone could shed some light on that, it'd be much appreciated.. I'm not exactly sure apple is dumb enough to program the phone to restore itself in such a way to make it like a retail-new phone, hopefully after 10 tries it goes into a "lockdown" mode or something that requires you to go to the apple store with proof of purchase or something.. Not sure

    I keep seeing many apps that say "find your iphone" etc, and apple also has that option on mobileme.. but honestly, when i first heard about this, it didn't strike me as 'idiot-proof' at all.. if someone stole my phone, couldn't they simply power it off and remove the sim card, which would render all those 'locating' methods useless, considering there will be no 3g-internet, and lets assume that the thief has wifi password-protected in his home (smart thief).. like, i'm trying to not be naive, but with no internet connection, how could any of those 'find my iphone' strategies work? I'm not sure on the technicality of the mobileme service, but i'm assuming it works just like all the other 'find my iphone' apps.. Can anyone please provide some insight?

    I really want to protect my iphone, but it appears like both methods have many loopholes.. fml :(
  2. iphone1105 macrumors 68020


    Oct 8, 2009
    Seems to me, you have way to much time on your hands if this is what you're worried about....just use your phone bro, if you lose it, it breaks, gets stolen, thats just life man....gotta deal
  3. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    One thing nice about Blackberries which I wish iPhones would get would be the ability to erase itself after x amount of time with no network connection, and to lock the phone and ask for a PIN if someone swaps a new SIM card in the device. This way, if someone yanks the SIM card out, eventually the device will wipe itself. If someone swaps the SIM card, they will be prompted for a PIN which if gotten wrong would erase the phone [1].

    I wish Apple would add more security features in this vein to the iPhone.

    Realistically, check with Safeware or Asurion and see about theft insurance. This, coupled with the 10 bad PINs erasing the device, and MobileMe's remote wipe feature should do the job.

    [1]: I remember an app for Windows Mobile which would, if an unauthorized SIM card is installed, would lock the foreign SIM card, then rack up bogus guesses on the PIN and PUK, which essentially permanently fries the card beyond recoverability.
  4. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    FindMyiPhone works on encrypted wifi just fine. Your "smart thief" needs to wipe the unit completely, not just remove the SIM and put it on an encrypted network. But no, it's not foolproof.

    Take reasonable precautions if you're concerned. Password the phone. Don't flash it around, especially in places you're more likely to be targeted. Don't use it for anything data-wise that you can't afford to lose. Or add and consistently use a password vault app if you're going to use things like bank passwords on your phone--don't autosave them in Safari or in individual apps. Get theft insurance if you can't afford the unsubsidized cost of replacement. Get MobileMe and use Oh, and back up your data religiously, because you're way more likely to break the phone or accidentally delete something critical than have it stolen.

    But beyond that, if you're still this worked up, we're talking paranoia and you probably shouldn't carry a smartphone. Sorry, but most of us aren't "terrified" of losing our phones--for me personally, it would be a damned annoying thing, but it's not the end of the world. Then again, I've done most of what I recommended. LOL

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