Here Are the Worst Passwords Used in 2016


It’s hard to come up with a really good password for every single website you use, but some commonly used passwords are basically just invitations for nefarious actors to waltz in and steal your information. And yet, as Time reports, people still use "password" to protect access to their personal information. SplashData, a password manager, puts together a list of the worst passwords each year from lists of passwords that have been leaked by hackers. Unsurprisingly, people who use super obvious passwords tend to have their accounts compromised.

So just what are the passwords you should feel ashamed of using in the modern age? Once again, "123456" appears in the top spot on the list, followed by that old standby, "password." Get a little creative, people! No, replacing the "o" in "password" with a "0" doesn’t make it any safer. Just don’t use any password that even vaguely includes the word "password," please. Surprisingly, a lot of people use sports like "football" (No. 5 on the list) as passwords, too. Just go ahead and avoid any singular nouns, please.

 Here is the full list:


According to Politifact, the fact-checking website, Google doesn’t even allow you to use "password" as the key to your Gmail account. Those annoying password requirements that dictate that you use a certain number of letters, numbers, and symbols really are trying to protect you (and by extension, their own reputation) from having your account compromised.

The smartest way to protect your information is to use a password manager. Like, for instance, SplashData. There are a number of free password generators out there, though, including LastPass, Dashlane, and StickyPassword. Many of these services also have premium subscriptions that give you more advanced features. These apps don’t just keep all your passwords in one place—they create new, stronger passwords to replace those terrible old ones you always forget anyway.

Regardless of how you decide to deal with your passwords, please enable two-factor authentication.

[h/t Time]

Live Smarter
How to Spot the Convincing New Phishing Scam Targeting Netflix Users

Netflix may send customers the occasional email, but these messages will never ask you to provide them with personal or payment info. You'll want to keep this in mind if you encounter a new phishing scam that The Daily Dot reports is targeting the video streaming service's subscribers in Australia and the UK.

MailGuard, an Australian email security company, was the first to take notice of the fraudulent emails. While similar scams have targeted Netflix users in the past, this current iteration appears to be more convincing than most. At first (and perhaps even second) glance, the messages appear to be legitimate messages from Netflix, with an authentic-looking sender email and the company’s signature red-and-white branding. The fake emails don’t contain telltale signs of a phishing attempt like misspelled words, irregular spacing, or urgent phrasing.

The subject line of the email informs recipients that their credit card info has been declined, and the body requests that customers click on a link to update their card's expiration date and CVV. Clicking leads to a portal where, in addition to the aforementioned details, individuals are prompted to provide their email address and full credit card number. After submitting this valuable info, they’re redirected to Netflix’s homepage.

So far, it’s unclear whether this phishing scheme has widely affected Netflix customers in the U.S., but thousands of people in both Australia and the U.K. have reportedly fallen prey to the effort.

To stay safe from phishing scams—Netflix-related or otherwise—remember to never, ever click on an email link unless you’re 100 percent sure it’s valid. And if you do end up getting duped, use this checklist as a guide to safeguard your compromised data.

[h/t The Daily Dot]

Weather Watch
Heated Mats Keep Steps Ice-Free in the Winter

The first snow of the season is always exciting, but the magic can quickly run out when you remember all the hazards that come with icy conditions. Along with heating bills, frosted cars, and other pains, the ground develops a coat of ice that can be dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike. Outdoor steps become particularly treacherous and many people find themselves clutching their railings for fear of making it to the bottom headfirst. Instead of putting salt down the next time it snows, consider a less messy approach: heated mats that quickly melt the ice away.

The handy devices are made with a thermoplastic material and can melt two inches of snow per hour. They're designed to be left outside, so you can keep them ready to go for the whole winter. The 10-by-30-inch mats fit on most standard steps and come with grips to help prevent slipping. A waterproof connector cable connects to additional mats so up to 15 steps can be covered.

Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a price: You need to buy a 120-volt power unit for them to work, and each mat is sold separately. Running at $60 a mat, the price can add up pretty quickly. Still, if you live in a colder place where it's pretty much always snowing, it might be worth it.


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