If your Apple Watch ever gets stolen, good luck getting it back, as it’s been discovered that the wearable doesn’t have any considerable theft protection.
The nice thing about the iPhone and iPad is that Apple has made it really difficult for someone to steal a device and use it as their own, essentially turning it into a literal brick. However, it turns out that the Apple Watch has no such security feature.
As discovered by iDownloadBlog, the Apple Watch only protects your data from thieves and not the actual device, and this is because the Apple Watch lacks any type of Activation lock that’s featured on other iOS devices.
If a thief wanted to steal an iPhone or iPad, they would essentially be stealing a hunk of metal and glass, as they wouldn’t be able to factory reset it and use it as their own, nor would anyone else they try to sell it to. However, the Apple Watch doesn’t have this feature. If someone stole your Apple Watch, they can easily reset it and either resell for a profit or use it as their own quickly and easily, which could potentially encourage more Apple Watch theft than expected.
Apple introduced a security feature called Activation Lock when the company launched iOS 7 a couple of years ago. It essentially prevents thieves from stealing an iOS device, and even if they did steal an iPhone, Activation Lock turns it into a paperweight anyway.
How that works is that when a user enables Find My iPhone on their device, it locks down that iPhone to that user’s Apple ID account, so that even if the iPhone ever gets stolen and is wiped completely, it will still require the rightful owner’s Apple ID and password before it can be used again.
The video above shows the simple process that users can go through to completely wipe an Apple Watch and use it with another iPhone without anything getting in the way. There was absolutely verification process to go through and no steps to confirm the Apple ID that was used previously on the device.
We can’t be too upset that a feature like this isn’t on the Apple Watch yet, as the iPhone itself went several years without Activation Lock, but considering that a feature like this now exists, we’re not sure why Apple isn’t including it with the Apple Watch right out of the gate.
Of course, it’s important to note that the Apple Watch is a completely different device than the iPhone, so implementing Activation Lock on the wearable is most likely a different beast than on other iOS devices, which means the minds at Apple will likely have to think of a different way to protect the wearable from getting stolen (or at least prevent thieves from doing anything with a stolen Apple Watch). However, it’s likely that the company is brainstorming ideas as we speak.
Also, something else that’s noteworthy is that the Apple Watch is probably much more difficult to steal than an iPhone, since the wearable is strapped to a user’s wrist most of the time, whereas an iPhone can be easily swiped from a pocket without you even noticing.
In any case, we’re guessing that Apple is working on some updates for the Apple Watch that will include Activation Lock at some point or another.