Woman tricked into sharing password on live television: ‘How did you not realize?’

Morgan Greenwald
·2-min read

When TikToker Maddie West recorded an on-the-street interview for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, she never expected to become an example of what not to do when setting your passwords online.

In 2015, then-20-year-old West won free tickets to watch a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live! While she was waiting in line to get into the show, one of the show’s producers approached her and asked if she wanted to be in one of the clips they were filming for the show.

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“Me being the extroverted Gemini that I am, I was like, ‘Yes of course I’ll be in it,'” she explained.

West ended up taking part in an interview about cyber security. For the segment, the producer asked people on the street: “What is your password?”

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“It’s like my cat’s name and then just a random number,” West told the producer. Eventually — both for comedic relief and to prove how easy it is to hack someone — she was tricked into revealing the name of her cat (Jolie) and the “random number” she’d be most likely to use: her birthday, June 12, 1995.

West’s TikTok video reliving the mortifying moment has received more than 412,000 likes, plus thousands of comments from people who had many questions.

“How did you not realize?” one person asked.

“I remember seeing this and thinking it HAD to be staged,” another added.

“Good lord,” a third wrote.

Many users noted that they were shown this video in school as a warning to choose strong passwords that are hard to guess. Want to make your passwords virtually impossible to hack? Many websites such as LastPass will generate a password of numbers, letters and characters for you that are entirely random.

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