Improve Find My iPhone By Locking Down Location Services
Find My iPhone and Find My iPad are security features that make it simple to locate lost iOS devices by tracking them on maps through GPS. A potential problem is that after a device has been lost, or perhaps more accurately, after a device has been stolen, GPS or Find My iPhone can be turned off which thereby disables the Find My iPhone service’s ability to track the missing device. A great fix for that is to use iOS Restrictions to prevent Location Services from being turned off at all, which basically forces GPS and Find My iPhone to stay on all the time. This means that as long as the device is turned on, GPS will be on, making it trackable the entire time.
Be sure you have gone through the process to set up Find My iPhone first, then proceed with the instructions below to lock down Location Services.
- Open Settings and tap on “General”
- Find “Restrictions” and tap on it, entering the password if it’s already enabled. If Restrictions it not yet enabled, at the next screen tap on “Enable Restrictions” and enter a password to access the feature
- Now scroll down to “Privacy” and tap on “Location Services”
- Make sure Location Services are turned ON, then scroll to the very bottom to verify that Find My iPhone is also turned ON
- Now go back to the very top (tap the titlebar to jump there), and choose “Don’t Allow Changes”
- Exit out of Settings
With this configured, there is now an additional layer of protection for the device with GPS and Find My iPhone forcibly left on. And yes, this works the same on an iPad or iPod touch too, though the accuracy of the Find My service is not going to be as reliable on a wi-fi only device, and thus we’re focusing on the iPhone here.
It’s a good idea to use a different password for accessing Restrictions than you do for your lock screen password, and if you’re traveling, prone to losing devices, or in a high risk theft area, consider placing a lock screen message on the device with your ownership information on it, which makes it particularly easy to return should a nice person get ahold of the phone.