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10 years ago, Apple finally convinced us to lock our phones

A picture of someone unlocking an iPhone 5S using Touch ID.
Touch ID was a blessing for lazy teens like me who couldn’t be bothered to set an unlocking PIN. | Photo by Lintao Zhang / Getty Images

Every phone you pick up today has a fingerprint scanner, a face scanner, an option for PINs with four, six, or more digits, and often all of them at once. Phones prompt you to set up a scan and a passcode the first time you turn them on, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have some form of security set up.

But go back just 10 years, and the story was very different. Back when our phones were still used almost entirely as phones and not teeny personal computers, most of the “locking” features on mobile devices were designed more to prevent you from butt-dialing anyone than to protect your sensitive information.

It wasn’t until the iPhone 5S came along — 10 years ago this month — that everything changed.

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