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iPods with Click Wheels
So you’re thinking, “What should I do if I lose my iPod? Can someone use it?” If it's an iPod with a click wheel that you lost, someone might be able to use it, but not under certain conditions.
Apple iPod products with click wheels, such as the iPod Classic or the iPod Nano, typically don’t have any protection on them. There is a sliding lock button at the top to keep the device from getting turned on accidentally, but there is no way to lock the device itself from being played.
However, Apple is sensitive about ownership, so in order to use iTunes to add or delete music on iPods with click wheels, an individual must have the email address and password for the owner’s account. If they don’t, there’s not much they can do to change the songs on the iPod. Plus, if the owner has already authorized their iPod on Apple’s limit of five computers, it’s less likely someone else can use it.
That being said, there are other programs that manage iPod devices, such as Copy Trans Manager. This free software is great for people who don’t like iTunes, but in theory, it could allow someone who did not own the iPod to change the songs on its hard drive.
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iPods with Password Capability
If you’re wondering, “What should I do if I lose my iPod, can someone use it?” about an iPod Touch or iPhone device, you’re in better shape than if you had a click wheel.
Both of these Apple devices offer password protection on the device itself. iPod Touch devices allow at least four character passwords and even more secure passwords if they have the iPhone operating system. Someone else can’t use this device if they don’t have your passcode.
Now, can someone else plug your iPod Touch or iPhone into a computer and change the content so they can use it? Not likely. Again, iTunes will prohibit that from happening unless they have your account details.
Also, iTunes alternative software like SharePod makes users type in their passcodes on new computers before adding, copying or deleting any material. So unless someone knows how to format your disc without your passcode or account details (which isn’t likely), they will have a very difficult time using your iPod.
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What to Do About a Stolen iPod
Apple has built in the most digital protection of virtually any company in the world short of a government agency. They make it very hard for thieves to use iPods. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done by someone who knows how to get around the system. They might service it themselves, or they might eventually figure out your passwords.
There are a number of ways someone can potentially use your iPod with the right software and know-how. So make sure that whatever you store on your iPhone or iPod is not so sensitive that it would do damage in the hands of the wrong people.
Some people call the police to report a stolen iPod. You can also report the problem to Apple, and they will give you several options that vary based on which model of iPod you own, which include erasing the material on the device to protect you if anyone plugs it in and tries to access your account. However, no option is ever guaranteed.