There have been many reports and stories of how Apple’s Find My iPhone service has been able to help retrieve lost and stolen iPhones and iPads. I have had this service as soon as I could on all my devices, and it has been patiently waiting there to (hopefully never) be used. However, today I got the absolute joy of using the “Find My” service to locate and shut down my iPad.
Last night I had my iPad in the common room I share with my housemates, so we could use it to play some music. This morning, I awoke and headed off to university, forgetting that I had disabled the lock code on my iPad the night before to allow them to use it to choose music.
Several hours later, I get a message from my Mum enquiring why my birthday on Facebook has been moved to tomorrow. Intrigued, I jumped online to find many details of my profile have been changed. I am now a female, into Buddhism and I am a strong supporter of the Liberal Party. I have also worked at some questionable businesses, and have confessed my alcoholism.
Shocked and in laughter, I asked my friends surrounding me at university whether they had done any of this while I was getting coffee. The questionable look on their faces lead me to believe they didn’t.
Immediately, I used Facebook’s security feature of ending sessions that have been checked to “keep you signed in”. I realised that the only devices I use to access Facebook were my iPad, iPhone and computer. Since I had two of those three with me, I realised my iPad was unaccounted for.
I jumped straight onto iCloud, and located my iPad to check it was where it should be. It was. I quickly realised that my housemates had taken advantage of my generosity of lending them the iPad for music. I laughed at my stupidity. I immediately activated a lock, ending whatever they were sneakily doing. Soon after, I continually sent messages, making sure that the “play sound” option was checked to get my revenge. After all, who likes that noise Apple has chosen for the alert tone?
My experience has taught me a few things, mostly to not trust my housemates with my stuff. More importantly, it has taught me that iCloud and the Find My iPhone system works, and it is very capable of protecting your data and devices. If someone does steal your device and disconnects it from the internet/turns it off, it does render the system useless for immediate protection. It does give me comfort of mind however, to know that if I do lose a device, have one stolen, or have sneaky housemates corrupting Facebook, that I have a backup system capable of helping me locking the device when it does connect to an internet source.