11 Ideals That Will Change Your Communications

What is the optimum length of time for a presentation to clients? How long should we make make our company video?

These are just two of the questions that are answered in recent collated statistics from a variety of reputable online sources.

Here are eleven statistical findings that should guide your online and offline communications:

  1. The ideal length of a tweet is 100 characters
  2. The ideal length of a Facebook post is less than 40 characters
  3. The ideal length of a Google+ headline is less than 60 characters
  4. The ideal length of a headline is 6 words
  5. The ideal length of a blog post is 7 minutes, 1,600 words
  6. The ideal width of a paragraph is 40-55 characters
  7. The ideal length of an email subject line 28-39 characters
  8. The ideal length of a presentation is 18 minutes
  9. The ideal length of a web page title tag is 55 characters
  10. The ideal length of a domain name is 8 characters
  11. The ideal length of a YouTube is 3 to 3 1/2 minutes

And yes, I am aware that the headline for this post is seven words rather than six and that the content is less than  1,600 words; both of which are less than ‘ideal’.  But we need to remind ourselves that ‘ideals’ are not absolutes.

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Be Still My ‘BleedingHeart’

This infographic from 10 TopTen Reviews, highlights some of the major trends in the malware industry and reveals several interesting statistics about computer viruses.


You can see the original version here.


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Would Sir Like Malware With His Meal?

Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the (digital) water, after ditching Window XP and upgrading your home or office PC, comes the news that hackers managed to get into an oil company’s’ systems through a Chinese takeaway menu!

Yes… you read correctly, this ingenious restaurant menu hack was the key to grabbing crucial company data.

How did they do it?  According to the report in the New York Times, “hackers infected with malware the online menu of a Chinese restaurant that was popular with employees. When the workers browsed the menu, they inadvertently downloaded code that gave the attackers a foothold in the business’s vast computer network“.

This form of infiltration is referred to as watering hole attack.  Just as predatory crocodile lurks by a watering hole in the Masai Mara ready to pounce on a thirsty gazelle, so does this malware await its opportunity.

And no, before you ask, I doubt if Edward Snowden every set foot in this restaurant but it does go to prove just how clever and pervasive cybercrime has become.

Any system or device that uses software is now prone to these types of attack whether it be climate control systems, printers or even vending machines.  Once you can break into one device you have a pathway to break into an enterprises’ entire system. I doubt if many people truly appreciate the sophistication and cunning of today’s cyber criminals and spooks.

The NYT article also details that 23-70% of attacks dealt with by network security agencies emanate from third party devices.  It is also worth mentioning that many of the devices mentioned above such as vending machines (and surprisingly ATMs) still run of Windows XP and as of this month, Microsoft has ceased its support for this software leaving it even more vulnerable.

30% of the world’s personal computers still run on Windows XP which represents a massive challenge to stopping the proliferation of malware.  If you have a spare £5.5m you can always do what the UK government has just done and buy yourself some extra breathing space.  But for most mere mortals such as yours truly, this was not an option.

The Year of the Mega Breach

Symantec’s most recent Internet Security Report 2014 labelled 2013 as the Year of the Mega Breach as the  number of attacks were 62 percent greater than in 2012, with 253 total breaches. Eight of the breaches last year exposed more than 10 million identities each!

Ransomware attacks, which as the same suggest hijack and lock a system until a ransom is paid, grew by 500% in 2013. Cryptolocker is the best known of this type of malware.

I have made a mental note to be more careful when selecting from a menu in a restaurant in the future. The ‘Chef’s Special’ may not turn out to be quite what it seems at first glance.

Malware in spoup

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