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Top password? Try “password”

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In SplashData’s sixth annual Worst Passwords report, compiled from more than five million passwords leaked during the year, three variations of “password” appear, including “passw0rd” and “password1” – joining 123456 as the most insecure login details to have.

A few months ago there were news reports that the hacking of Democratic National Committee’s John Podesta’s email was made easier because his email password was “password.” If these reports are true, he wouldn’t be alone. For the sixth straight year, “password” joins “123456” as the two most commonly used passwords on SplashData’s annual list of “Worst Passwords.” Use of any of the passwords on this list would put users at grave risk for identity theft.

In its sixth annual Worst Passwords report, compiled from more than five million passwords leaked during the year, three variations of “password” appear, including “passw0rd” and “password1”.

“Making minor modifications to an easily guessable password does not make it secure, and hackers will take advantage of these tendencies,” says Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, Inc. “Our hope is that by researching and putting out this list each year, people will realize how risky it is to use these common logins, and they will take steps to strengthen their passwords and use different passwords for different websites.”

While Star Wars-themed choices “princess” and “solo” keep the Force alive on the Worst Passwords list for the second year, sports terms have dropped off. The only sport to crack the Top 25 was “football” in the #5 spot.

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New appearances on the list include “hottie”, “loveme”, and “flower”.  One other new entry is “zaq1zaq1” from the left column on standard keyboards – demonstrating again the importance of avoiding simple patterns.

Simple numerical passwords remain common, with five of the top 10 passwords on this year’s list comprised of numbers only.

SplashData, provider of password management applications TeamsID, Gpass, and SplashID, releases its annual list in an effort to encourage the adoption of stronger passwords. According to SplashData, the over five million leaked passwords evaluated for the 2016 list were mostly held by users in North America and Western Europe.

Presenting SplashData’s “Worst Passwords of 2016”:

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Just over 10% of people use at least one of the 25 worst passwords on this year’s list, with nearly 4% of people using the worst password, 123456.

SplashData offers three simple tips to be safer from hackers online:

  1. Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters.
  2. Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites.
  3. Use a password manager such as SplashID to organize and protect passwords, generate random passwords, and automatically log into websites.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Happy Emoji Day! Here’s 10 reasons to be cheerful

First created by Shigetaka Kurita in 1999, the emoji has become a huge part of everyday communication. Whether you love them or hate them, flying dollar bills, applauding hands and rolling eyes are here to stay.

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Scientist suggest that the use of emojis will help us gain the same satisfaction from digital interactions as we enjoy from personal contact.

Almost two decades later, and we have over 2600 unique emojis to perfectly express what we feel, thank you Mr Kurita! Join HMD, the home of Nokia phones as we celebrate World Emoji Day on the 17th of July with these interesting emoji facts:

The most popular emoji used is “Person Shrugging”

1.       The Nokia 3310 was chosen as one of the first 3 “National” emojis for Finland… it represents unbreakable!

2.       South Africa’s favourite emoji is the “Kiss and wink”… how sweet SA!

3.       French is the only language where a ‘smiley’ does not top the list for its use

4.       On average, over 60 billion emojis are sent on Facebook every day

5.       For the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year was a pictograph! The “Face with Tears of Joy” was crowned word of the year in 2015

6.       According to Emojipedia, some of the most requested emoji’s include afro, a bagel and hands making a heart

7.       To include all races, a diversity pack was released in 2017

8.       It has become so trendy that the Museum of Modern Art displays the original emoji collection on canvas

9.       In 2009, Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick was completely translated into emoji’s

 

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