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The Dangers of Shared Apple Devices and Find my iPhone

The Dangers of Shared Apple Devices and Find my iPhone
Institutional iPads/iPhones can be rendered useless by careless iCloud management. Mark explains how to ensure leavers don't leave behind redundant tech.

We all like our gadgets, and Apple's devices rate pretty highly on most people's lists. Once you own an iPad or iPhone, it is a rainy day when it goes missing, but with the Find my iPhone or Find my iPad settings in iCloud, you can now locate the missing device fairly quickly. Or – if the worst has happened and it has permanently gone – it is possible to lock it so nobody else can use it.

However, this can be problematic when such devices are used in educational and commercial environments. These devices are given to individual staff members who then link them to a personal iCloud account in order to install apps. When that member of staff leaves the company, one thing that is commonly overlooked is the need to remove the device from the said iCloud account.

If Find my iPad/iPhone has been enabled – and to honest who wouldn't enable it – this can cause significant issues in that the device can't be used before it is untied from an account. No problem, you think, I can just contact the previous owner and get them to remove the device from their iCloud account. But then you realise you have no contact information for the previous user, or the previous user can't remember the login details for the iCloud account. Now you have a relatively pricey phone or tablet that is basically entirely unusable.

So, what to do? The advice from Apple is to take the device into a store with proof of purchase and they may be able to reset it for you. However, this can take time and may not always be possible. Instead, it might be worthwhile adding another element to your leavers procedure that asks for the removal of devices from iCloud. And ALWAYS make sure you keep your proof of purchase.

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