Can AT&T Wipe My iPhone Remotely?
Do you know that feeling when you suddenly realize you’ve lost your phone and find out you’ve likely had it stolen? Hopefully not, but if you do, chances are somebody’s already taken it, so you should wipe its data remotely to prevent the thief from accessing it.
If you’re wondering if there is a way for AT&T to wipe it for you, we have bad news, as they can’t do that. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no way to wipe your iPhone remotely at all.
Keep reading to find out more.
The “Find My iPhone” application, made by Apple, lets you remotely locate and wipe your device. Most phone service operators, such as AT&T, don’t even have such an app because this one does the job, so there’s no need for them to make another one.
“Find My iPhone” can be used from both your computer and from another Apple device, which doesn’t even have to be an iPhone, as iPod Touch and iPad also fit the bill. If you decide to do this using some of your portable Apple devices, go to your Home screen (or the “Extras”) folder and do the following:
- Go to “Find iPhone.”
- Upon entering your Apple ID and password, tap the “Sign In” button.
- Tap the “Allow” button in case this application asks you if it can make changes. Its next step is to locate any nearby devices.
- On the list, see if you can locate your phone and tap it to select it.
- Proceed to “Actions.”
- Choose “Erase iPhone.”
- Check the warning once more and go with “Erase iPhone” to let the app know it has your consent.
- Again, you’ll need to type the Apple ID and password, then tap “Erase.” This deletes not just the settings, but also all your personal data, seeing as there’s no other way to protect it at this point.
What Can You Do Besides Wiping?
1. Contact AT&T
As soon as the accident happens, you should contact AT&T and see if they can suspend your current payment plan or help locate your phone.
2. If You’ve Had Your “Find My iPhone” Application On
If you’ve had “Find my iPhone” enabled and your phone happens to be working at the given moment, completely cleaning your phone’s memory is not the only thing you can try. Here are some other things you may want to do:
- First of all, you need to check if you accidentally put the phone somewhere nearby and forgot about it. You can use the app for this. If the phone is somewhere near, you will hear a sound.
- There’s a feature that helps you locate and lock your phone and display a message of your choice. It is followed by a set phone number, so the person that finds your phone can return it to you. This feature is called “Lost Mode.” While it’s enabled, the phone will also suspend any payment making.
- If your family members are also Apple device users, give “Family Sharing” a try. It’s a service that connects you with your family members. This way, if they log in to iCloud, they might help in the search for your device.
- Finally, you can file a claim in case you are protected by Apple’s plan called “AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss.”
3. If You Haven’t Used the Application
You can only locate or track your iPhone if you have “Find My iPhone” on your device. Otherwise, you cannot, but there are a few more things that you could try:
- Make changes to your Apple ID. Most Apple apps, such as iMessage and iCloud, are connected to the Apple ID. By changing your Apple ID, other persons won’t be able to access your phone and the data on it.
- Change all the passwords. You can and should still change your passwords on apps that don’t belong to Apple. If you don’t do this, someone else might, rendering you unable to access any of your accounts on other apps.
- Notify the Law Enforcement. No matter what happens, report your phone loss case to local law enforcement. Keep in mind that you need to know your phone’s serial number.
AT&T Mobile Security
After getting a new phone, try using the AT&T Mobile Security iOS app to keep your device secured. At no cost, this app can remind you to update your iOS, check your passcode, and report breaches of apps and services you use.
If you decide to sign up for the associated subscription plan, the app can also help keep you protected when using VPNs and open WiFi networks, warn you if a WiFi network is too dangerous, and even notify you if your personal info is on the dark web, where you definitely don’t want it to be.
Facing the Aftermath
AT&T doesn’t have its own service for iPhone wiping. Its “Mobile Locate” service that was able to do this has been discontinued, but it does have the Mobile Security app to keep you more protected if you aren’t an advanced user. Still, Apple’s native apps might be enough to protect and remotely wipe your iPhone.
Did you or your loved ones ever lose a phone? If that ever got to happen again, what would you do differently? Share your mishaps and lessons learned with us in the comments below.