Losing your Apple Watch or having it stolen is not a great situation to be in, especially if you take advantage of services like Apple Pay. You don't want thieves going around spending all your money with your smartwatch, right?
The Apple Watch makes it a quick and simple process to pay for goods via Apple Pay, but unfortunately, the it isn't the most secure device. While it would be nice if Apple offered better ways to keep your Watch safe from theft or permanent misplacement - like including it in the Find My iPhone service - you'll have to manually go in and wipe sensitive information from payment services if your Watch goes missing.
Apple Pay connects through iCloud to work on all of your Apple devices, Watch included. Because of this, it's a fairly easy process to disable Apple Pay on your wearable through a computer.
Disabling Apple Pay from iCloud
On your computer or laptop, head over to www.icloud.com and sign into the iCloud account that is linked to your Apple Watch. Click your name on the top right of the iCloud home page and select "iCloud Settings." All of your Apple devices are listed under "My Devices." Select the Apple Watch.
You should see all of the Apple Pay support cards under the picture of the Apple Watch. Click "Remove All," then confirm the action. Apple Pay will no longer work on your stolen Apple Watch, giving you and your bank account some much-needed peace of mind.
Don't worry if your Apple Watch is offline, either. If you call your bank, it will disable cards linked to Apple Pay, even if your device isn't connected to the internet. After following the above steps, thieves won't have access to your money whatsoever.
An alternative route to disable Apple Pay is to call your bank and have it remove your bank cards from Apple Pay itself. However, this can take a lot of time if you have multiple cards with different banks associated with your Apple Pay. What's more, personally clicking the "Remove All" button might make you feel more confident that your credit and debit cards were removed from Apple Pay.
Starting at $349 (£299/AU$499), losing your Apple Watch is a gut-wrenchingly high cost, but there's not much you can do about it if someone robs you.
It can be upsetting losing your Apple Watch or having it stolen, and it's most certainly frightening if you actively use Apple Pay with it. Thankfully, you can gain some peace of mind by disabling Apple Pay through iCloud, but that doesn't take away the sting of losing an expensive piece of technology. Chances are, even if you report a loss or theft to local authorities, you aren't getting your Apple Watch back. AppleCare+ doesn't generally cover theft, either.
Your only real option of making up for your lost Apple Watch is through homeowners/renters insurance, which will sometimes reimburse you for the loss. Of course, I would check and make sure your policy covers electronic devices: most cover electronic devices, but there are some that don't. Unfortunately, the deductible can be an issue, so it's usually best to go out and buy a new Apple Watch out of pocket.
Either way, dealing with a lost or stolen Apple Watch is not a fun situation, especially when it comes to making sure your information is safe and out of dangerous hands. iCloud has some neat technologies for remotely wiping information, but Apple still has a long way to go in terms of making the Apple Watch as secure as it can be.
- Perhaps Apple Watch 2 will offer greater security?
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