Apple thinks this house is the Bermuda Triangle of lost iPhones

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Dozens of people have been told their lost iPhones are this house. But they're not.
Dozens of people have been told their lost iPhones are this house. But they're not.
Photo: Fusion

Find my iPhone is a fantastic way to recover your iPhone when it is lost or stolen. Most of the time. If you’re Christina Lee and Michael Saba, though, you hate Find my iPhone, because it has ruined your life.

For some reason, Apple constantly reports stolen or lost iPhones as coming from Saba and Lee’s small suburban Atlanta house… even though they are nowhere near by.

Find my iPhone hunt ends with family being assaulted

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iPhone 6s is a terrific smartphone, but fans are already bored of it.
This Find my iPhone story did not end well.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

There’s no doubting that Apple’s “Find my iPhone” feature can be pretty useful at times. But a recent story highlights the feature’s potential dark side — as a family was attacked after a group of people knocked on their door, erroneously claiming their lost handset was inside the family’s home.

Pro Tip: Your Apple Watch’s Activation Lock may already be on

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Apple Watch Siri
Yes, Siri. It's already on.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugThis week’s release of watchOS 2 brings a much-needed security update to Apple’s wearable by adding Activation Lock to the device, and the great news is that you may not even have to do anything to add it.

Activation Lock has been around for a while for other Apple devices, and its purpose is to keep thieves from using them even if they manage to get ahold of your preciouses. The first version of watchOS only included basic locking features and a passkey, which wouldn’t keep smart evildoers from gaining access to sensitive data like your Apple Pay data.

Here’s how the feature shows up on the Apple Watch.

Find My iPhone reunites family that escaped California wildfire

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Find My iPhone. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Find my iPhone helped reunite a separated family.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A battalion chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection was reunited with his family after they fled their burning home — thanks to Apple’s “Find my iPhone” feature.

Paul Duncan was on a job fighting a forest fire in Hidden Valley, California, when he received a panicked call from his wife saying that his family — consisting of his wife, son and two teenaged daughters — had escaped from their neighborhood when another major wildfire broke out.

Teen killed after using app to track lost smartphone

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Find my iPhone is a useful feature, but people should contact the police if they fear for their safety.
Find my iPhone is a useful feature, but people should contact the police if they fear for their safety.
Photo: Apple

There are plenty of great stories about people using the Find my iPhone feature to track down and reclaim stolen iOS devices. However, a story which emerged this week shows the tragic flipside of that phenomenon.

18-year-old Brampton, Ontario native Jeremy Cook died from multiple gunshot wounds after tracking down his lost phone, and then confronting the three men who had taken it.

How to find your iPhone’s last location even after the battery dies

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Lost that iPhone again, huh? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Picture this: You’ve lost your iPhone somewhere, but it’s run out of juice and it’s not ringing or vibrating when you call it.

You might think you’re out of luck, but there’s one function you can enable (or disable if you’re into privacy) that will keep track of your iPhone’s last location, even when the battery’s dead.

Why the kill switch law can make iPhone theft obsolete

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SACRAMENTO — California just flipped the kill switch for smartphones, in a move to make iCrime a thing of the past.

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law State Sen. Mark Leno’s Smartphone Theft Prevention Act (Senate Bill 962). The law will affect any smartphone manufactured on or after July 1, 2015.

There’s some reason to hope that the kill switch will do for smartphones what sophisticated alarm systems did for cars: make stealing them less appealing than a pair of leg warmers. Car thefts plummeted 96 percent  in New York City when engine immobilizer systems came into play.

Apple wants to teach Siri how to find your car

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applepatent

Find My iPhone has been invaluable at recovering lost Apple devices, but if you’re anything like me, keeping track of where you parked the car amid a sea of concrete and sedans is even harder than remembering where you dropped your selfie machine.

Apple’s latest patent filings reveal it has been working to solve those lost car disasters with an ingenious system that could be included in the future iPhones to guide you back to your vehicle, and it doesn’t even need an LTE or GPS signal.

Dad uses Find My iPhone to hunt and kill thug who stole son’s iPhone

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Find my iPhone is a useful feature, but people should contact the police if they fear for their safety.
Find my iPhone is a useful feature, but people should contact the police if they fear for their safety.
Photo: Apple

A U.K. man has been charged with murder after using Find My iPhone to track down and kill the thug who stole his son’s iPhone at knifepoint earlier in the day.

Derek Grant reportedly used Apple’s tracking software to locate the nearby thief after his son was robbed on his way home from work at McDonalds. When Derek confronted the thief and demanded he return the iPhone, the thief blinded him with a knife to the eye, which Grant says caused him to lash out in self defense and kill him.

How To Remotely Wipe Your iPhone Data When Stolen [iOS Tips]

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Splash FMi

This poor soul on the Apple discussion forums has just lost his iPhone, in Bangladesh of all places. He’s asking how to block the thieves from accessing his personal data.

Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have Find My Phone enabled on the device. He’s out of luck, in Bangladesh of all places.

You, though, you’re lucky and now have warning: iPhones are among the most stolen items in urban areas. Here’s how to keep your personal data safe on a stolen iPhone or iPad.