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Edward Snowden Helps John Oliver Change His Passwords

Recently we covered a story from Last Week Tonight With John Oliver in which host John Oliver spoke with Edward Snowden in Moscow on the subject of government surveillance. Their chat, however, did not rest solely on the subject of surveillance as the above clip shows. Snowden also took some time to touch on general security in terms of computers and online presence including some advice on creating and remembering passwords that are tougher to hack than The Gibson.

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SplashData releases a report every year compiling the most commonly leaked passwords used online and builds a list of the “100 Worst Passwords” with that information. The top ten worst passwords include numeric sequences, with “123456” taking the  #1 spot, and easily guessable words. I’m not entirely sure if I should be surprised that “password” is #2 on the list despite being the worst choice since passwords were a thing. Other notable passwords to be avoided included favorite sports or sports teams, and keyboard sequences like “qwerty.”

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Snowden offers a solution to bad passwords by suggesting we use pass-phrases instead. Using a phrase that is easy for you to remember, you are less likely to fall into lazy traps. It will also increase the number of characters, making a password harder for a hacker to guess. We would, however, not recommend you use any of the ones in the videos because…well…everyone knows them now.

So, plan on changing your password? Tell us what your new one is along with your e-mail address in the Let us know what you think of the video in the comments below, or hit me up on twitter, @MattDelhauer, and geek out about how fan-terrible Hackers is. He spray-painted the keyboard of a Powerbook! Oh, the ’90s.

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