My iPhone was stolen. I have AT&T. I did a factory reset, but believe my phone was turned off because I never got confirmation that the phone was erased. If the person who stole the phone took out my sim card, it will not connect to the network, which means they have access to all my personal info. If I have the phone put on blacklist, will this stop someone from being able to take personal info off my phone?

  • What model of iPhone is it? What kind of lock screen (if any) do you use?
    – Anders
    Jun 8, 2016 at 15:36
  • Iphone 6. I had a lock, but I'm pretty sure it was stolen by someone close to me..
    – Mel
    Jun 8, 2016 at 15:44

2 Answers 2


No. If they have the device, and there is no encryption enabled (e.g. lock screen PIN), they can read whatever they like from it. They won't be able to use it as a phone (they could use it as a fancy iPod if they wanted) in countries which support phone blacklists, or to access Apple services, but any data stored on the device itself could be accessed. This may include any data stored in Apple provided services, if the password for these was stored on the phone, and not been changed since the theft.

  • Thank you for answering. So then there is no way for me to reset the phone. . Unless the phone goes online and then the factory reset will kick in. .correct?
    – Mel
    Jun 8, 2016 at 15:01
  • Sounds about right, yes. Not sure how Apple's factory reset thing works - I don't know if it's a one time message, or if it sends for a limited period, or if it kicks in when the phone tries to connect to a specific system for updates.
    – Matthew
    Jun 8, 2016 at 15:09
  • @Mel Have you not discovered the "reset after X password attempts" setting ??? Jun 8, 2016 at 15:10
  • I'm not sure what you mean @Little code. The phone is not in my possession. I did reset my iCloud password. But I don't know if that matters if they take my SIM card out
    – Mel
    Jun 8, 2016 at 15:43
  • @Mel oh, sorry. I read the question in as in you still had it and were looking for security options, sorry about that ! Although in a way I guess you didn't discover that setting, so its (probably) not enabled, and so that's not going to help you (the settting tells your iPhone to automatically factory reset after a certain number of password attempts) Jun 8, 2016 at 16:00

If the data on your phone was not encrypted and protected by a strong passcode/passphrase, whoever has it now will be able to access your information as long as the phone does not connect to the Internet.

It is good that you have requested a factory reset in case the phone does connect, but that cannot be guaranteed. Putting your phone's IMEI (identification number) on a blacklist does nothing to protect the data; it only prevents the phone from being used to make calls, texts, or use other cellular services in supported countries.

I recommend that you reset the passwords for every single account that you have ever logged-in to on your phone (Email, Bank, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) immediately, and then try to recall what else may be on the phone. Did you store any personal identification numbers or codes in the "notes" app? Did you take pictures of sensitive information? Think about potential remedies and do what you can to minimize the damage, assuming that the thief now has this information.

Once you have taken the aforementioned security measures, you should also realize that it is very possible that the thief would factory reset the phone himself/herself so that it can be sold as soon as possible. Perhaps they are interested in the value of the device, not the information on it. You should prepare for the worst (that the thief is exploiting your information) and hope for the best (that the thief just wants to sell your device).

  • "If the data on your phone was not encrypted " .... if a passcode is set on an Apple iPhone/iPad then data is automatically encrypted via hardware encryption. Therefore the only problem is (a) weak passcode (b) not enabling the "auto factory-reset on X incorrect attempts" setting Jun 9, 2016 at 6:39

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