The Worst Most Common Passwords in America

People’s lives have moved online. They watch TV and videos on PCs and smartphones. They do their banking and buy almost everything they use on e-commerce sites like Amazon. People do not write letters anymore – they use email. They store photos and personal videos in the cloud. Some even buy cars without visiting a dealership. One thing all of these activities have in common is that they require a password.

The nature of passwords means that accounts can be broken into. This can happen on an individual level, but the problem can also involve millions of personal records when a company’s passwords are hacked. This has happened to Yahoo, Facebook, Playstation, Twitter, LinkedIn, Adobe, eBay, Equifax, Dropbox, and other sites that you’d think would have impregnable security. It has become a major risk of life online.

The chances of being hacked are greatly increased by the fact that people often use passwords that are easy to break. To determine which are the easiest, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a recent study by the VPN service CyberGhost’s educational initiative The Privacy Hub, titled “The Worst Passwords in the Last Decade (And New Ones You Shouldn’t Use)”.

The study revealed that 81% of all data security breaches are caused by weak passwords, and that “Many passwords believed to be deeply personal to you are, in fact, quite common – making them easier to crack – and they could be putting you at an increased risk of being targeted by cybercriminals.” In addition, according to the report, 60% of people use the same passwords across different accounts and 51% use the same password for work and personal purposes

The study listed the most common passwords by category. These included number sequences and variations, the word “password” and variations, keyboard patterns, passwords taken from TV and movie titles, personal names, kinds of animals and names of pets, sports and team names, car brands, IT and technology terms, names of games and applications (and sites). names of celebrities and characters, key events, political names and terms, words from nature, expletives, and miscellaneous terms including those referring to food, colors, locations, and love.

Many of these passwords are astonishingly easy to guess. The easiest include “123456”, “password”, “starwars,” and “Football”. The use of any of the passwords on this list, though – or any other easy ones to guess – shows that people are fools when it comes to protecting themselves online.

Article by Douglas A. McIntyre for 24/7 Tempo©

Click the link below to see password list.

The Worst Most Common Passwords in America (

Can’t hear your TV’s dialog? Improve speech with these simple tricks

Even if you have a new TV that looks great, you might find yourself underwhelmed by the sound. One of the biggest problems with TV sound is dialog — you know, the voices of the actors that allow you to follow what’s going on. Sometimes loud sound effects and music can make the words too quiet to understand, and turning up the volume, or turning on subtitles, doesn’t work. The reason? Flatscreen TVs are so thin there’s nowhere for the speakers to go, and this means they can also sound thin. 

But you don’t need to live with bad sound, because we’re here to help. If you’re struggling to understand the dialogue in your new favorite show, there may be a few speaker settings — similar to picture settings — you can tweak to fix the problem. You might also decide you need a new soundbar or other audio system to replace those TV speakers.

So if that dialogue sounds muffled and incomprehensible, whether you’re using the TV speakers or a separate sound system, here are three things you can do to fix it.

1. Check your TV’s sound settings

Bass in particular is the enemy of understandable speech: It tends to hide the frequencies that help us decipher what people are saying. Rather than play with individual bass and treble controls, the easiest thing to do is to try the preset sound modes first. 

1. Use your remote to access the TV’s settings menu, then look for a section called AudioSound or something similar.

2. At the top of the menu should be a selection of presets such as MovieUser or Standard

3. While watching a speech-heavy show or movie, cycle through the modes to see which one’s sound best. 

If you’re finding the dialogue is mumbly, for example, try a Dialog, News or Speech Boost mode. If that’s not available, Movie or Standard is the next best option.

Also, try cycling through audio enhancements like Bass Boost or Surround, which often harm dialogue, or Night Mode, which can help (or not). Every TV and every room sounds different, so it’s worthwhile to experiment.

A little boost to treble may also help improve intelligibility. Once you’ve got the audio as good as you can, simply exit the menu. You usually don’t need to save it; the TV should remember.

2. Have a soundbar or speaker system? Try these tweaks

External speakers will sound better than what’s built into your TV, but they may need a little tweaking to help with dialogue too. Your speakers might be too close to the wall, for instance, or stuffed inside a cabinet. 

Here are some common fixes for bad sound, and they don’t cost a cent. First, simply pick the kind of system that you have:


As with TVs in step 1, try setting the soundbar to a speech-enhancing mode, Movie or Standard.

If your system has a subwoofer, it could be too loud compared to the rest of the system. While explosions are fun, they shouldn’t be at the expense of a good story. If you have a separate bass or sub control, try turning it down.

AV or stereo system with speakers

If you have tower or bookshelf speakers, try moving them away from the walls and corners, and then point or “toe” them in towards the middle where you sit. Removing speaker grilles will also boost the midrange by a couple of decibels. These little changes alone won’t be enough to transform Sly Stallone into Laurence Olivier, but could be enough to discern what an actor is drawling about.

3. Buy a new soundbar

If the previous options aren’t cutting it for you, it may be time to invest in some new equipment. Thankfully excellent soundbars aren’t very expensive, and almost anything will sound better than a TV speaker. The Creative Stage, for example, is only about $90 and offers HDMI connections and a subwoofer. Vizio also makes an excellent range of soundbars.

There are some soundbars specifically designed to make speech more intelligible. For instance, when Zvox branched out into hearing aid design the company brought the tech to its range of AccuVoice soundbars. The company has models starting at $100, and it includes the flagship Zvox AV357.

Going the next step and buying a surround system also has added benefits — especially if the system has a dedicated center channel speaker. In surround mixes dialogue often comes primarily from the center channel and being able to increase its volume independently can really help.

Article by Ty Pendlebury for CNET© Photo by Samsung©

(Note: I find it helpful to turn on cc, closed-captioning. This tool, found under settings usually, prints out on the screen the exact dialog being spoken. You may find the cc button on your tv remote also).

Phone not charging? Try this simple, cheap trick first

There are many reasons your iPhone or Android phone might not charge anymore — from rusted charging ports to broken cables. But a common issue is simply that your charging port, be it Lightning on the iPhone 13 or USB-C on phones like the Google Pixel 6 Pro is clogged with dirt and the cable can’t quite fit in properly. 

Thankfully, this is one of the simplest, cheapest solutions to a charging problem. Here’s how to fix it. 

Why is my charging port blocked? 

There are no covers on your phone’s charging port, meaning they’re exposed to every bit of dust, dirt and debris they encounter. Every time you slide your phone into your pocket your phone will be susceptible to pocket fluff and if, like me, you’ve got pockets filled with detritus from accidentally washing your jeans with old receipts in the pockets then that’s asking for trouble. And that’s to say nothing of the biscuit crumbs I have in there. Do not ask me why I have biscuit crumbs in my pockets. 

Day by day, this won’t be a problem, but those tiny bits of dust and fluff will build up over the months or years you have your phone, compacting together each time you plug in your charging cable until it forms a solid barrier that stops your charger from going all the way in and allowing it to connect and charge. 

If you’ve had your phone for more than six months and you’re gradually finding the charger becoming less and less stable (particularly if you have to wiggle it around to get it to begin charging) then it’s highly likely that dirt in your port is the culprit. 

How to clean out your phone’s charging port 

It’s a simple task to unclog your phone’s port. You’ll need a cocktail stick, toothpick or other thin item that you can poke in to the port to scrape out the grime. Wood or plastic is better as it’s less likely to scrape against anything inside and potentially cause harm. I’ve done this using a metal SIM removal tool and while it worked well, it’s not the safest option for your phone. 

Insert your tool of choice into the charging port until it won’t go further and gently start scraping away. With an iPhone’s Lightning port you can scrape back and forth, but with USB-C you’ll need to scrape around the charging connector, which sits in the middle of the port. 

Eventually you’ll start to work the compacted debris loose and you’ll be able to encourage the dislodged material out of the port. It’s a satisfying process and you might be surprised at how much stuff actually comes out. Gently work on the sides of the port too, but be mindful not to scrape hard against any of the metal charging connectors. 

Eventually you’ll have pretty much all of it out. It’s difficult to check for sure if you’ve gotten rid of it all as it’s tricky to see inside the port, even if you have a good light to hand. But once you’ve got a good amount of nonsense out, you can try your charging cable again. 

The satisfying removal of nonsense from your phone's charging port. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

© Provided by CNET

(The satisfying removal of nonsense from your phone’s charging port).

Hopefully it’ll plug in more securely now and begin charging. If not, carry on trying to extract more dirt and then test the charger again. If that still doesn’t solve the issue it’s time to consider other solutions like a new cable or charger. 

Article by Andrew Hoyle for cnet©

Source: Phone not charging? Try this simple, cheap trick first (

The 3G shutdown– These devices may stop working 

man looking at a smartphone with no network connection

While you don’t always need the latest and greatest tech gadgets, there are times when the need to upgrade is essential. This is the case for many people, with cellular networks phasing out the 3G standard. Older smartphones will lose most of their essential functions, including the ability to make and receive calls and texts.

The 3G shutdown will also affect many car models that rely on a network connection for features like GPS, voice assistants and emergency call services. Tap or click here for more details on how your car may be affected.

It doesn’t stop there, either. The shutdown will impact virtually any connected device running solely on a 3G network. Read on for details and tips on how to avoid being left behind.

3G is going extinct in 2022

With billions of smartphones out there, many people will first feel the impact of the 3G shutdown. Cellular networks began deploying 4G LTE networks in 2010 and phone manufacturers followed with compatible models.

More than a decade later, the three biggest providers have announced they’re phasing out 3G networks in 2022:

  • AT&T said it will shut down 3G networks in February.
  • Verizon said it will pull the plug on 3G on December 31.
  • T-Mobile said it will shut down Sprint 3G networks on March 31. T-Mobile’s own 3G networks will be gone by July 1.

There’s only so much wireless spectrum and infrastructure out there, so the old must be cleared to make way for the new. As 3G phases out, newer 4G and 5G networks will see improvements in performance.

If you use an iPhone 5 or older, you’re out of luck. The same goes for Samsung phones preceding the Droid Charge. If your Amazon Kindle uses AT&T’s Whispernet service, it’ll also be bricked.

Luckily, many cellphone companies are offering special upgrade incentives and pricing if you need a new phone. Check with your provider for any available 3G retirement plans. They can also tell you if your phone will be affected.

Did your car make the list?

Newer cars are adapting 4G and 5G connectivity for safety and convenience features. That’s not to say you’ll have to ditch your 3G-only capable vehicle. In some cases, you may be able to get an update, though you may be charged for it or even face a subscription fee.

Popular car models from major manufacturers will be affected, including the 2014-2017 Acura MDX, 2013-2018 Audi A4/Allroad, 2018-2020 Honda Accord (Touring trim), all Lexus models produced from 2010-2017, Tesla Model S vehicles produced before June 2015, and the 2013-2017 Toyota Camry, among others. See a more comprehensive list here.

Beyond phones and cars

Virtually any connected device running solely on a 3G network will be affected by the shutdown. Even with Wi-Fi support, use will be limited. The FCC lists tablets, home security, smartwatches and medical devices among the impacted groups of devices. If your 3G device uses cellular connectivity as a backup when its wired network connection goes down, it will also cease to function properly.

Some of the newest medical devices still run on 3G and even 2G networks, since they are cheaper to produce. Contact the manufacturer of your device via their official website or phone number. If you have to upgrade, make sure that 4G support is included.

The FCC’s Lifeline program can assist low-income consumers with phone and internet services with a discount. Go to for more information.

The FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides a discount of up to $50 per month for broadband service. A one-time discount of $100 for a computer or tablet is also available. 

The change is coming whether you like it or not and it’s coming soon. Start getting ready now.

🚨 What it means for you

The 3G shutdown will be far-reaching and impact a lot more than just your cellphone. If you have older internet-connected devices at home, expect at least some of them to lose important features that rely on a cell connection.

✅ Use a connected medical device? Contact your doctor or the manufacturer to check if there is any upgrade you need to make now.

✅ As with any big development in the tech world, you can bet scammers will jump on it. Be wary of emails, texts and letters from companies saying you need to take action. A reputable company will never ask for your personal details unprompted. If you receive a notification, contact the company through another means to confirm it is legitimate.

By Albert Khoury, KOMANDO.COM

Source: The 3G shutdown impacts more than just your phone (

What those orange and green dots mean on your iPhone

What those orange and green dots mean on your iPhone
You’ve seen the light. Now what does it mean? Credit: Shutterstock / DenPhotos

Every now and again, I see a tiny dot-shaped light appear at the top of my iPhone screen. Sometimes it’s orange. Sometimes it’s green.

I never really questioned it, until one day I was like, Hmm, what if it’s important? I should probably figure this out.

Apple Support’s explanation of the orange and green iPhone dots Credit: Apple

Orange dot

The orange dot is telling you that your iPhone microphone is being used by an app. It’ll appear when you use voice memos, maybe briefly after you close out of your camera, or if you’re using any app that exclusively records your voice.

Green dot

The green dot is telling you that your iPhone camera is being used by an app. You’ll see it when opening your camera, or taking pictures on Instagram, Snapchat, or any social media app that allows you to take pictures and post them.

That’s pretty much it. Neither the orange or the green indicate anything particularly concerning. You can exhale now. Check out the Apple Support page for further details, if you want.

Article By Andy Moser for Mashable©

Source: What those orange and green dots mean on your iPhone (

The 10 most invasive sites on the internet

Most tracked sites
Credit: Surfshark

We all know that our online browsing habits are being tracked. Unless you take steps to prevent it, most websites see where you come from, what you are searching for and what you like. 

All this data is valuable to sites and services, as they use it to serve targeted advertising. Ever searched for something on Amazon and then seen an ad for a similar product on Facebook? That is targeted advertising at work.

Thankfully, not all websites treat you as a treasure trove of information. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out which sites have the least amount of trackers. But on the other end of the spectrum, the biggest culprits shamefully stuff their sites with hundreds of trackers.

Here’s the backstory

There are plenty of ways for a website to track you. Some might be subtle, like an invisible pixel or cookies, while others access your device’s GPS to locate you on the globe. But who are the biggest offenders? 

VPN provider SurfShark launched an investigation to find out, and some of the results are somewhat surprising. Its findings revealed that some of the most commonly-used websites hide up to 100 trackers, all designed to collect as much information on you as possible.

The most invasive sites

SurfShark found 143 trackers on the most invasive website, 92 of which are used for advertising purposes. Tracker counts also vary by category, with Men’s & Women’s Lifestyle websites having the most trackers (59) on average than other categories.

The most invasive sites are:

  • theChive (143)
  • Salon (139)
  • NY Daily News (126)
  • HGTV (121)
  • Crooks and Liars (116)
  • Barstool Sports (116)
  • LADbible (114)
  • Adweek (112)
  • Refinery29 (111)
  • USA TODAY (104)

How to stop sites from tracking you

If you don’t want websites or services to track you, there are ways to stop them. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use a VPN to block your location. When you mask where you are from, in most cases you won’t be served ads that relate to your area. 
  • Switch to a secure browser that has additional privacy features. Browsers like Brave have been developed to block sites from tracking you. 
  • Restrict ad tracking in your browser, or block ads completely. In Google Chrome, click on the menu icon and tap Settings. Next, select Privacy & Security and click Cookies and Other Data. Then slide the toggle next to Send “Do Not Track” request with your browsing traffic to the right to enable it.

Here’s the good news. Websites with the least amount of trackers:

  • Wikipedia (3)
  • TikTok (3)
  • Instagram (4)
  • XVIDEOS (4)
  • Netflix (5)
  • Bandcamp (5)
  • FB Messenger (5)
  • XNXX (6)
  • National Parks Service (6)
  • GameForge (7)

By Charlie Fripp,

Source: List: The 10 most invasive sites on the internet (

‘iPhone storage almost full’ after installing iOS 15? Here’s what NOT to do

If you’ve just installed iOS 15 and you’re now seeing a message that says that your ‘iPhone storage almost full,’ then you’re not alone.

In fact, it seems like it’s quite a widespread problem, and the exact cause is unclear.

It’s certainly not a lack of storage space. Some affected users report having tens of gigabytes free.

So, if you’re affected by this ‘iPhone storage almost full’ bug, what should you do?

Do nothing.

Wait it out for a fix from Apple.

What you shouldn’t do is start deleting stuff because:

  1. That doesn’t appear to fix the problem
  2. That’s a path to data loss and more headaches

I’ve spoken to an Apple support agent contact who tells me that Apple is aware of this bug, there’s nothing that support techs can do about it, and that it’s something that Apple will need to fix as part of the iOS 15.x update.

Article by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for zdnet©

Source: ‘iPhone storage almost full’ after installing iOS 15? Here’s what NOT to do (

How to silence every single spam call on your iPhone without buying any apps

© Provided by BGR iPhone Spam

There’s no getting around it: spam calls are incredibly annoying and, at times, seem absolutely endless. From fake calls about social security benefits to fraudulent calls about expiring car warranties, scammers in recent years have only become more brazen and sophisticated when it comes to robocalling any and everyone.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that your iPhone comes with a few built-in features that can help you eliminate these spam calls, or at the very least, keep them from constantly interrupting you throughout the day.

To get started, all you have to do is go to Settings > Phone where you should then see a toggle for “Silence Unknown Callers.” If you turn this feature on, every call from an unknown number will be silenced and automatically sent to voicemail. And on the off-chance an incoming call from an unknown number is actually legitimate, the call will still appear on your list of recent calls.

With the feature turned on, the only calls that will actually ring include numbers from your list of contacts, numbers that appear in your list of outgoing calls (which is helpful if, for example, you recently dialed a customer support number), and numbers from Siri Suggestions, which is to say numbers that iOS thinks may be associated with someone you know.

Now if a specific person or entity is calling you non-stop, which at a certain point becomes harassment, you can specifically block their number. To do so, simply go to Settings > Phone and scroll down to the Blocked Contacts setting. Once you tap that, you can hit “Add New” whereupon you can select which contact you’d like to block. Once selected, no phone calls, messages, emails, or incoming FaceTime alerts will be able to come through.

In light of the above, there may be some hope on the horizon. According to RoboKiller — an app designed to fight spam calls — the total number of spam calls in May of 2021 went down by 5%. And while this isn’t a huge decrease, spam calls have been steadily rising over the last six months.

Incidentally, RoboKiller — which you can get for less than $2 from the App Store — might be a worthy investment.

MarketWatch notes:

RoboKiller blocks millions of telemarketers and robocalls from ringing (so you won’t even know those callers called) even if they are changing their numbers. The unique thing with RoboKiller is that it has an AnswerBot answer the phone for you and then waste the marketers’ time talking to them; you later get to listen to recordings of calls… The company has a list of 500 million phone scams that it will block for you, and you can adjust the level of call blocking. It can also protect from many text scams.

Article by Yoni Heisler for BGR©

Source: How to silence every single spam call on your iPhone without buying any apps (

Is your iPhone feeling slow? The fix might be quick and simple (and free)

graphical user interface, application

© ZDNet

The other day someone mentioned that their iPhone had become so slow and so sluggish as to almost be unusable.

“The battery life is also terrible,” she added glumly.

She offered me the iPhone 8 Plus so I could “do your thing and take it apart” and was going to scrape together the cash to buy a replacement as soon as possible.

She left with an iPhone that was, in her words, “working like new.”

There are numerous reasons why an iPhone can be slow, and a worn battery causing processor throttling is a common issue, so it’s a good place to start.

So, I took a look at the iPhone 8 Plus. It wasn’t that old, bought new in the last three years, and it was in good condition. According to iOS, the battery was in good condition, and checking it out with the excellent CoconutBattery app showed that the battery was a little more than halfway through its 500 recharge cycles.

I ruled out the battery being the problem.

Then I noticed the problem.

The iPhone had very little free space. Well under a gigabyte.

And the iPhone was trying to shuffle apps and data around to make enough free space for updates.

See, iOS is clever. If you are running low on space, it will automatically free up storage space so you can install an app, and update iOS, and even try to make space when you download new music, take photos or record more videos. iOS only moves stuff that you don’t need or stuff that can be downloaded again, but the process is system intensive, and takes more battery power.

And that’s what was going on here. With under 600MB of free storage space — Apple considers 1GB of free space to be a low storage — the iPhone was having to do a lot of juggling and shuffling of data and free space.

The fix was easy. Delete some (actually many) games and some unwanted videos/photos, and I then connected the iPhone to a high-speed network so it could do all the updating it was trying to do, and then after a quick reboot the iPhone was back to working great again.

Another gadget saved from the recycling heap.

(Use this tip if updates can’t happen because of space requirements.)

Article by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for ZDNet

Source: Is your iPhone feeling slow? The fix might be quick and simple (and free) (

Windows 10 spring 2021 update: Every new feature, when to download and more

Microsoft has confirmed that its latest Windows 10 update, version 21H1, will arrive in the spring of this year, first in a tech community post on Feb. 15 and in a more formal company blog post on Feb. 17. This follows Microsoft’s usual pattern of rolling out two major Windows 10 updates per year, with this one following the latest October 2020 update. (If you’re running Windows 7, you can still download Windows 10 free to get the latest updates.)

icon: Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

© Provided by CNET Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

While we can expect a few useful new features to arrive this spring, it seems likely that Microsoft is using this smaller update cycle to prepare for a larger Windows 10 UI update, reportedly codenamed Sun Valley, that will be part of Microsoft’s renewed focus in Windows 10 that executives mentioned last year. We won’t know exactly what that means until a larger update is confirmed, but we’ve collected some rumors below.

Here’s what we know about Windows 10 version 21H1 so far, and what it could mean for the future of the OS. 

What is Windows 10 version 21H1?

Windows 10 version 21H1 will be Microsoft’s latest update to the OS, arriving sometime this spring. These updates often end up being called the April or May update. 

Usually, Microsoft releases a larger feature update in the spring, and a smaller one in the fall. But version 21H1 appears to be a more minor update as well, rather than an overhaul. 

What new features will the new update include?

According to Microsoft’s blog post, new Windows 10 features will include:

  • Multicamera support for Windows Hello, allowing users to choose an external camera when using high-end displays with integrated cameras.
  • Improvements to Windows Defender Application Guard, including optimizing document opening scenario times.
  • Improvements to Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) updating, to support remote work. 

“The features we are releasing in this update are focused on the core experiences that customers have told us they’re relying on most right now,” the post said. “So, we optimized this release to support our customers’ most pressing needs.” 

According to Digital Trends, the update will also include new icons, updated settings pages and some tweaks to Cortana and the search box experience. 

When can I download the new update?

Microsoft said the Windows 10 21H1 update will be available in the first half of the year. A Windows Central report says it will arrive in May, though Microsoft did not confirm this.

In March, Microsoft began rolling out a 21H1 build to Windows Insiders in the Beta program. New features will be offered in future Windows Insider Preview builds as they are ready. 

When the update is generally available, it will be the first time an H1 (first half of the calendar year) feature update will be delivered using Microsoft’s servicing technology. That means it’ll arrive the same way that monthly Windows 10 updates do. It’s also the same way the October 2020 update was released. If you’re already running either Windows 10 version 2004 or version 20H2, it’ll be a fast installation process to get the newest update.

When it’s generally available in the spring, you’ll be able to download version 21H1 by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and clicking Check for Updates. If available, you’ll see Feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1. Click Download and install

What’s this bigger Windows 10 update that could be coming next? 

On an October 2020 earnings call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Microsoft is “doubling down” on Windows and PCs, and will continue to innovate. 

This could take the form of a major OS update for Windows 10 later this year that would bring a major design refresh to the UI, according to a report from Windows Central. The update, reportedly codenamed Sun Valley, could bring a redesigned Start menu, Action Center and File Explorer, with a more modern look and new features. Sun Valley is expected to be released around the 2021 holiday season, Windows Central says, but that could change. 

Article by Alison DeNisco Rayome for cnet

Source: Windows 10 spring 2021 update: Every new feature, when to download and more (

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