When your iPhone is lost, there’s FindMyiPhone to help you locate it. But that thing works only when your iPhone is still on some network and still running (not powered off).
Recent changes in iOS 7 let anyone access the Control Center toggles from the lockscreen without entering passcode. This is a problem because a thief can easily switch your iPhone to Airplane Mode. And the other problem is switching off the iPhone: just hold the power button and boom! Your iPhone is non-traceable now. How do you prevent these things from happening so that you can trace your iPhone even when it’s stolen?
Disabling Control Center on Lockscreen
One of the first things that I’d recommend you do is turn off the Control Center on lockscreen in iOS 7. To do this:
- Open the Settings app
- Tap on Control Center
- Toggle the slider for “Access on Lockscreen” to OFF.
Now, test to see if the Control Center is accessible on the lockscreen. It should not show up when you swipe up from the bottom on the LS.
But what if you want the Control Center on the Lockscreen? In that case, you will have to resort to using a Cydia tweak like CCToggles (free, BigBoss repo). This tweak lets you restrict some tweaks on the lockscreen’s Control Center. You can use this feature to disable Airplane Mode and data toggles to show up here.
Disable The Power Button
This is exclusively for users who have jailbroken their devices. You can control the power button only if you have jailbroken and installed some Cydia tweaks. PowerDown Enhancer (free, ModMyi repo) is a Cydia tweak that lets iPhone users set passcode-security for turning off the iPhone. It’s a nifty tweak if you want to prevent others from switching off your iPhone. Now, it’s not often that you would want that function/feature but one particular thing where it’s helpful is this: if someone steals your iPhone and tries to shut it down, he won’t be able to do it without entering the correct security code.
PowerDown Enhancer also comes with a disable power button toggle. The toggle simply disables the power button so if you press the button, it won’t trigger any action. That means you can neither lock the screen nor use it to power down the device. Again, it’s a very rare case/scenario when you want such a disabling feature but is useful when you think your iPhone might get stolen.
You can use a tweak like Activator to assign a gesture-based action to power down the iPhone. For instance, you can assign a multi-finger swipe on the screen to trigger the shut down. Incidentally, a tweak like PowerDown Enhancer does not prevent you from using the power button to switch ON the iPhone. It’s only the switch OFF that’s disabled or password-protected.
Loopholes and Red-flags
But it’s not all good news here. While you can do all these little “tweaky” things to prevent someone from switching off your iPhone or switching it to the Airplane Mode, the iPhone still has some loopholes that can be exploited.
Not getting into the details, Accessibility settings has some features that put a power-button emulator on the screen (in a feature like AssistiveTouch). This is why you should have a passcode to protect your iPhone’s internal features from being accessed should something happen to it.
Also, while the possibility of this happening is too low, a robber can use the DFU mode to restore your iPhone remotely. iOS 7 aims to prevent a robber use the iPhone after such a restore by asking the user to input iCloud password for the associated account. But the phone as such becomes untraceable. One more reason why you should disable the power button if the risk of losing your iPhone is high.