Police urging iOS7 download on iPhones to help against 'apple picking', but still keep your guard up

CLEVELAND - You've probably heard of "apple picking" and we don't mean the fruit on the trees.

It's about the growing problem of people stealing Apple iPhones and iPads. The problem is so big right now that some law enforcement agencies are officially endorsing Apple's new iOS 7 operating system as a way for you to protect yourself.

Giovanni DiPio has had an iPhone for years and he has already downloaded iOS 7.

"I think it's pretty good - security's pretty good... up to date," DiPio told us while standing in a parking lot near the city park where he was working.

The new Apple operating system was released three weeks ago and cellphone experts say its "industry-first" security feature was much needed.

"2012, was the first time in our nation's history that something was stolen more often than money - and that was the iPhone," said Phone Ambulance Manager Charlie Harb, who's also been dealing with Apple products for years.

The feature is called "activation lock" and when in use, it means a lost or stolen apple device simply cannot be re-programmed without the real owner's Apple ID and password.

"Before, if you were to steal an iPhone, all you'd have to do is plug it in your computer and wipe it and you can go sell it to a new customer," Harb said.

iOS 7 is available as a free downloadable upgrade for all iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices. (Link to more info on iOS7: http://www.apple.com/ios/ )

New York City police said they believe in the theft-deterring feature so much that they've been handing out fliers urging iPhone users to upgrade to iOS 7. But a local law enforcement professional we talked to said you should remain careful.

"Just don't assume because you have iOS 7 that your phone is safe being left out or in sight if left lying in a car," said Mike Stone from Polaris Career Center. "Because (crooks) may still steal it in the hope that they can get it to work," he added.

Still, iPhone user DiPio said iOS 7 gives him some peace of mind.

"Before the update, I was worried that someone might take my phone and all my information might be lost -- but now I feel a lot safer," DiPio told us.

The key here is: You must download iOS 7 and turn on the "activation lock" to be protected.

The thought is that as more people sign on, Apple products will become less attractive to thieves.

What about other phones? Experts tell us certainly there will be a demand for this kind of security on Android phones.  We'll keep you updated.

Print this article Back to Top


More Apple Stories

Microsoft Microsoft's Surface Studio Is Built For Creativity The company's first desktop computer doubles as a drafting table.
Your Friend Your Friend's iPhone 7 Might Be Better Than Yours And it all depends on your carrier.
Apple And Samsung Will Finally Duke It Out In Front Of SCOTUS Apple And Samsung Will Finally Duke It Out In Front Of SCOTUS The Apple vs. Samsung case will finally be heard by the Supreme Court. It's the first design patent case in more than 100 years.
FBI Director James Comey Wants To Protect People FBI Director James Comey Wants To Protect People's Privacy — Sort Of Comey says people should cover their laptop cameras to prevent hackers from spying.
Self-Driving Cars Are Moving Faster Than The Law Self-Driving Cars Are Moving Faster Than The Law Only nine states and Washington, D.C., have laws on the books related to autonomous vehicles.
Apple Might Be Hitting The Brakes On Self-Driving Cars Apple Might Be Hitting The Brakes On Self-Driving Cars Apple might be rethinking "Project Titan." The company will reportedly now focus on software for self-driving vehicles, rather than building them.
It It's-a Him! Nintendo Gives Mario His Own Mobile Game "Super Mario Run" is an all-new, built-for-mobile game from Nintendo.
Apple Says It Killed The Headphone Jack Out Of Apple Says It Killed The Headphone Jack Out Of 'Courage' Apple's iPhone 7 won't have a 3.5 mm headphone port but will ship with an adapter and a set of Lightning headphones.
Here Here's what the iPhone 7 will look like

Here are the latest updates from Apple's product event, including details on the iPhone 7.

EU demands Apple pay $14.5B in taxes EU demands Apple pay $14.5B in taxes

EU: Ireland must recover up to 13 billion euros (about $14.5 billion) in illegal tax benefits from Apple.