If ‘ji32k7au4a83’ is Your Online Password, You’re Not Alone—Here’s Why

iStock.com/BeeBright
iStock.com/BeeBright

Right now, somewhere in the world, a handful of people are probably logging into their email or Facebook accounts with the password password—or, worst of all, 123456. These are bad ideas for obvious reasons, but you might be surprised by some of the commonly used passwords that are considered insecure. Topping SplashData’s list of the worst passwords of 2018 were zaq1zaq1, merlin, and, ironically, trustno1.

As Gizmodo reports, there’s another example of what not to use as your password that didn’t appear on SplashData’s list: ji32k7au4a83. One might assume that this alphabet-soup password would be difficult for hackers to guess, but the problem is that the series of letters and numbers isn't random at all.

That’s because the Chinese symbols for my password end up becoming ji32k7au4a83 when they’re transliterated using a phonetic system called Zhuyin Fuhao—also known as Bopomofo. Unlike mainland China, which uses pinyin (a way of “Romanizing” Chinese characters), the Zhuyin keyboard is primarily used in Taiwan. Essentially, the character for M ends up being ji3, the character for Y becomes 2k7, and so on, until my password is spelled out. (If that seems confusing, Gizmodo has a more in-depth explanation of how it works here.)

According to data breach repository Have I Been Pwned, this jumbled password popped up up over 100 times in various breaches. In other words, the problem of picking easy-to-guess passwords isn’t limited to the West.

Even if you don’t speak Mandarin, it doesn’t hurt to double check that your passwords are safe and secure. It’s recommended that users create a unique password for each account (and a password manager can help you keep them all straight). Long passwords composed of nonsense phrases, numbers, symbols, and uppercase letters also tend to fare better—and whatever you do, don’t make your password qwerty.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Twitter Bug Accidentally Alerted Users When Someone Unfollowed Them

iStock/bigtunaonline
iStock/bigtunaonline

Social media networks may notify you every time your former high school classmate has a birthday, but there's one piece of information most sites choose not to share with users. When someone unfriends or unfollows you, platforms like Facebook and Instagram will save you the pain of knowing about it. This is normally the standard on Twitter, but thanks to a new bug, some Twitter users have received notifications when people unfollowed them, Vice reports.

For several days in June, many Twitter users reported receiving push notifications on their phones every time one their followers removed them from their feed. The notifications didn't clearly reference the awkward situation: The bug told users that someone had “followed them back” when they had actually hit the unfollow button. People eventually caught on to what was really happening.

The bug apparently didn't affect all users, so if you unfollowed someone on Twitter in the past week or so, there's a chance they didn't notice. Though if they really wanted to know, there are third-party apps that show Twitter users who unfollowed them.

According to Fast Company, Twitter has resolved the issue and users no longer risk getting their feelings hurt every time they check their notifications. So feel free to continuing curating the list of people you follow in privacy.

[h/t Vice]

This Amazingly Simple Google Docs Hack Is a Game-Changer

iStock/ardaguldogan
iStock/ardaguldogan

The seconds it takes to manually open a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide on your computer are short compared to the time you spend working in them. But if you're already feeling stressed or tempted to procrastinate, the process of going to Google Drive, selecting New, and opening a blank document can be annoying enough to disrupt your workflow. For people looking to maximize as much of their time as possible, Google introduced a hack late last year that creates a new Doc, Sheet, or Slide in seconds.

According to TechCrunch, you can launch a blank Google Doc in less time than it takes to type out a full web address. If you're already signed into your Google account, simply go to your web browser, type in doc.new (no www. required) and hit Enter to go to your fresh, new document. For Google Slides, do the same for slide.new, and for Sheets, use sheet.new. It doesn't matter if you pluralize the name of the app: Typing doc.new or docs.new will bring you to the same place.

Google owns the .new web domain, which allowed it to create these convenient hacks for its users. If you're a frequent user of Google's applications, you can bookmark the addresses so they pop up in your browser suggestions with just a couple keystrokes.

The new document shortcut is pretty straightforward, but there are several more Google Docs features that make life more convenient for users in unexpected ways, including features for automatically transcribing audio and outlining documents.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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