Tag Archive for Twitter

Whats a Lifetime on Social Media?

Whats a Lifetime on Social Media?From the scary stats department – In 2015, time spent on mobile apps exceeded time spent watching TV for U.S. consumers according to TechCrunch.  And now influencer marketing agency MediaKix has calculated more scary social media statistics. Social media users will now spend years online during their lifetime.

Time spent on social media is increasingGrowth on many of the top social media platforms continues to rise as each network rolls out new features and functionalities to better compete for users’ daily time. It must be working, not only is the number of people using social media increasing, and the time people are spending each day on social media is increasing. MediaKix says that just  Facebook (FB) users are spending an average of 50 minutes each day on the site.

In order to see how much the average person will spend on social media through out their life, MediaKix calculated the time spent across today’s most popular social media platforms. Across today’s most popular social media platforms, people are spending the following daily averages:

A lifetime on social mediaThe advertising firm says these social media consumption rates, across a lifetime will total up to:

  • YouTube: 1 year, 10 months
  • Facebook: 1 year, 7 months
  • Snapchat: 1 year, 2 months
  • Instagram: 8 months
  • Twitter: 18 days

Cumulatively, this adds up for a total of 5 years and 4 months spent on social media across a lifetime. Compare the time spent on social media against more mundane life activities.

  • Social Media: 5 years, 4 months
  • Eating & Drinking: 3 years, 5 months
  • Grooming: 1 year, 10 months
  • Socializing: 1 year, 3 months
  • Laundry: 6 months

The Santa Monica, CA firm projected the social media figures across an entire lifetime and put the numbers into the infographic below.


How much time do people spend on social media?



I have argued for a while that the social media fake news issue is a result of the American educational system. They are obsessed with teaching the common core, that they don’t teach any analytical skills. Schools need to reinstate current events and media literacy classes.

Quartz cited a survey that found that teens prefer Facebook as a news source (41%), while tweens break between YouTube (41%) and Facebook (37%). By huge margins, girls prefer Facebook for news, and boys, YouTube.

The converging trends of more time spent online, preferring social media as a news source and no education is putting democracy at risk.

Search Engine Journal offers some good suggestions on how to evaluate if a story is real or fake.

What is the Site? most major recognized sources for news journalism are not going to be producing clickbait fake news. Most of the fake news that go for “shock” value and produce fake stories are not as recognized. Look into the source itself and see whether it is a website that can be trusted.

Check the Domain – Many fake news stories use similar URLs and domain names to mimic reputable news sources, but rather than using a .com they use .com.co endings

What are the Authors’ Sources? – Good news stories contain links to other reputable reporting by respected organizations. Be wary of sources that cannot substantiate their claims.

Fact Check! – When in doubt, fact-check the information that you read! You can start with a simple search to look into the keywords or the event that is being reported on. You can also use sites like PolitiFactFactCheck, and Snopes.

Examine the Website Closely – Look at the full spectrum of details on the site. Are there other fake-looking or shocking headlines? What does the overall website look like? How is the user experience? Sometimes doing just a little further digging will make it clear if a news story is fake.

Act! – Once you identify if a story is real or fake, you can make a big difference. Do not share stories on social media that are fake and make them more visible. If you notice a friend or family member share a fake story on a social media outlet, do them a favor and comment or message them showing how you found out it was fake so they don’t repeat the same mistake.

If you come across a fake news article, comment on it stating how you arrived at the conclusion it was fake. If everyone does their part to distinguish fake news stories and make them known, then they won’t be shared as easily.


Ralph Bach has been in IT for a while and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

Who Rules the Internet?

Who Rules the Internet?Singapore based ISP Vodien published an infographic which lists the 100 highest ranking websites in the U.S. by traffic, according to website analytics company Alexa. There are over 1.1 billion websites on the internet, but the majority of all traffic actually goes to a very small number of firms. Seven companies control 30% of the top 100 web sites and the related web traffic.

100 highest ranking websitesNot surprisingly Alphabet controls the most popular sites on the web, Google and YouTube. Surprisingly, Microsoft controls the most sites in the top 100. Redmond controls seven of the top web properties including recently purchased LinkedIn, Bing and Microsoft.com. For a long time, MSFT’s online efforts were a disaster. That seems to have changed with Azure, but I still hate Bing. According to the Vodien infographic Alphabet controls four of the most popular sites.

The Visual Capitalist points out that Google.com gets an astounding 28 billion visits per month. The next closest is also a Google-owned property, YouTube, brings in 20.5 billion visits.

Facebook (FB) controls two of the most popular web sites; Facebook (#3) and Instagram (#13).

Jeff Bezo’s firm Amazon (AMZN) directs four popular web sites;

The infographic says Verizon (VZ) now controls the Huffington Post (#49) and AOL (#59) and will control Yahoo (#5) and Tumlr (#12) if the deal closes in 2017 Q2.

Reddit.com comes in at #7 and Reddituploads.com is #61.

Online retailer eBay comes in as the #8 website.

POTUS favorite Twitter (TWTR) is the 9th ranked website and t.co is #25.

Video streamer Netflix comes in ranked #10 by Vodien.

Microsoft (MSFT) controls 7 of the top 100 web sites with recently purchased LinkedIn at #11, Live.com #14. so-so search engine Bing is #17, followed by Office.com (#23), Microsoft Online Services (#24), MSN (#37) and Microsoft.com (#41).

100 Websites that Rule the Internet


The consolidation of all of this web traffic is troubling. The current administration is going to allow online firms to sell all the personal information they collect to the government, data aggregators or anybody else to make a buck.

Ralph Bach has been in IT for a while and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

What to Think About Before You Click

What to Think About Before You ClickReaders of the Bach Seat know that the Internet can be a risky place. The typical advice to stay safe on the Intertubes is to think before you click. But why should you care and what should you think about before you click on a link in your email or on Facebook?

Email is the leading source of attacks at home and at work. Kaspersky reports that over 2/3 of emails sent in 2014 were SPAM. Merely clicking on a SPAM link can lead to password and data theft, and even “drive-by” malware downloads. In order to stay safe at work and at home ESet wants you to ask yourself these questions before you click on any link:

1.Do you trust the person posting the link? Do you trust the person sending or posting the link? People have gotten better at distinguishing good emails and links from bad. Nonetheless, you still need to be alert, so the first question to ask yourself is:

  • Do I trust the person sending or sharing this link? If you don’t recognize the name, the email account, or the content, delete it.

2. Do you trust the platform? Here’s what we mean by “platform”: A link shared on your company’s private Intranet is likely to be safe. But anybody can send you an email — so be skeptical.

social media sites have been hit by copious amounts of spam.Pay special attention to Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB), as both social media sites have been hit by copious amounts of spam. Online security experts have found that many social media accounts are fake and pose a risk to anyone they come in contact with.

  • Researchers say that an average of 40% of Facebook and 20% of Twitter accounts claiming to represent a Fortune 100 brand are fake. 99% of malicious URLs posted on social media channels led to malware or phishing attacks.

3. Does this link coincide with a major world event? Cybercriminals seize any opportunity to get someone to click a link. They commonly use news events like natural disasters, Olympics and World Cups to lure victims to identity-theft or malware sites.

4. Do you trust the destination? Look at tDo you trust the destination?he link that has been shared. Does it go to a website you recognize? If you don’t trust, or don’t know, the destination, don’t click the link.

5. Is it a shortened link? The rise of social media, especially Twitter, has prompted people to shorten links for convenience. Bad guys can easily shorten scam links, making them harder to spot.

  • With shortened links, the advice is clear; ask yourself the above four questions and if you’re unsure still, use LongURL and CheckShortURL, to restore the shortened link to its original length.


Even if you follow this advice, you still need to be alert. If, for whatever reason, you’re unsure, you could pick up a phone and call them (Did you remember that you can talk to people on phones?) to verify that they did indeed send that information and maybe talk about something else too.


Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

Bad Passwords Crippled the Web

Bad Passwords Crippled the WebFollowers of the Bach Seat know that passwords suck and now default passwords really suck. In fact default passwords seem to be a key part of the massive DDOS attack disabled large parts of the Internet on October 21, 2016. The cyberattack targeted Internet traffic company DYN. DYN provides DNS services for many high-profile sites. Some of the sites effected by the attack on Dyn included; Amazon (AMZN), Business Insider, New York Times, Reddit and Twitter (TWTR).

Chinese electronics company Hangzhou Xiongmai webcamsSecurity researcher Brian Krebs, whose site, krebsonsecurity.com, was one of the first sites hit by a massive 620 GB/s DDoS attack, has reported the Mirai botnet was at the center of the attack on his site. CIO.com reports  ‘Mirai’ can break into a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices from CCTV cameras to DVRs to home networking equipment turning them into ‘bots’. CIO reports a single Chinese vendor, Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology made many of the devices used in the Mirai attacks.

Level 3 Communications says there are nearly half a million Mirai-powered bots worldwide. To amass an IoT botnet, a Mirai bot herder scans a broad range of IP addresses, trying login to devices using a list of default usernames and passwords that are baked into Mirai code, according to US-CERT. The Mirai zombie devices are largely security cameras, DVRs and home routers. Mr. Krebs identified some of the specific devices.

Mirai Passwords

root123456ACTi IP camera
666666666666Dahua IP camera
admin1111Xerox printers, etc.
admin1111111Samsung IP camera
admin7ujMko0adminDahua IP camera
adminmeinsmMobotix network camera
adminsmcadminSMC router
root(none)Viviotek IP camera
root00000000Panasonic printers
root54321Packet8 VoIP phone
root666666Dahua DVR
root7ujMko0adminDahua IP camera
root7ujMko0vizxvDahua IP camera
root888888Dahua DVR
rootadminIPX-DDK network camera
rootankoAnko Products DVR
rootdreamboxDreambox TV receiver
roothi3518HiSilicon IP Camera
rootikwbToshiba network camera
rootjuantechGuangzhou Juan Optical
rootjvbzdHiSilicon IP Camera
rootklv123HiSilicon IP Camera
rootklv1234HiSilicon IP Camera
rootrealtekRealtek router
rootsystemIQinVision camera, etc.
rootvizxvDahua camera
rootxc3511H.264 - Chinese DVR
rootxmhdipcSenzhen Anran security camera
rootzlxx.EV ZLX two way speaker
rootZte521ZTE router
ubntubntUbiquiti AirOS Router

US-CERT says the purported author of Mirai claims to have 380,000 IoT devices are under its control. Some estimate the botnet has generated greater than 1Tbps DDoS attacks.

DDoS attacksWhen Mirai botnets are called upon to carry out DDoS attacks, they can draw on a range of tools including ACK, DNS, GRE, SYN, UDP and Simple Text Oriented Message Protocol (STOMP) floods, says Josh Shaul, vice president of web security for Akamai.


Followers of Bach Seat already know that many of the default passwords used by Mirai are among the worst and should have been changed already. They include:

  • Password
  • 123456
  • 12345
  • 1234

While reports say Chinese vendor, XiongMai Technologies equipment was widely exploited, other notable tech firms are included. The Mirai zombie army includes equipment from Xerox (XRX), Toshiba (TOSBF), Samsung (005930), Panasonic (6752) and ZTE (763).

I wrote about security cameras being compromised as part of botnets back in July here.


Ralph Bach has been in IT for a while and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

Chatbots Taking Over Politics

Chatbots Taking Over PoliticsMercifully, the 2016 U.S. election cycle is coming to an end. Most people are talking about how terrible all the candidates are. We don’t care anymore both candidates suck. The political conversation online is even worse. Political conversation online is more hateful because most of the politics on social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter are fake.

Political chat bots engage with other users about politics,Researchers say that most election tweets come from from political chat bots. Chat bots are a computer program that simulates human conversation, or chat, through artificial intelligence. Political chat bots engage with other users about politics, especially over Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB).

Recode reports that bots for both sides are pushing their candidates hard. According to a paper released by Oxford University’s Project on Computational Propaganda, Republican bots are out tweaking Democratic chat bots on the Web.

ChatbotThe researchers found that the majority of bots are rooting for Trump to win the election. During the third presidential “debate,” Twitter bots sharing pro-Trump-related content outnumbered pro-Clinton bots by 7 to 1. And in the span between the first and second debates, more than a third of pro-Trump tweets were generated by bots, compared with a fifth for pro-Clinton tweets.

The Oxford team found that a Twitter bot is an account that’s automated by software to act on its own. Bots can retweet, like and reply to tweets. They can also follow accounts and tweet themselves.

ChatbotTwitter accounts that have extremely high levels of automation, meaning they tweeted over 200 times during the data collection period (Oct. 19-22) with a debate-related hashtag or candidate mention, accounted for nearly 25% of Twitter traffic surrounding the final debate, the researchers found.

The problem with the outpouring of automated engagement on Twitter is that campaigns often measure success (and decide where and how to invest in further outreach) by counting these retweets, likes, replies and mentions.

Chatbot on FacebookThe article states that it is hard to tell how many retweets and likes are from real supporters. A proliferation of bots can give candidates and issues unwarranted clout.  Throughout the race, Trump has discounted the value of polls. They’re rigged, he says. Instead, his campaign implores Americans to reference how viral he is on social media and the size of his rallies.

The third debate came on the heels of the leaked tape of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women, which went viral. And Trump’s uptick in automated Twitter fandom during the debate may have been intended to counteract the lingering outrage against the candidate on social media speculates the article.

 journalists use Twitter to report storiesIncreasingly, journalists use Twitter to report stories and demonstrate public interest. They believe its a good way to bring audience voices into a political discussion, though more voices doesn’t always make for a better conversation. The author warns that much of the engagement numbers aren’t from real people is also a sobering reminder that virality is no demonstration of genuineness.

Donald Trump likes to boast that he’s more popular than Hillary Clinton on social media. He does, after all, have 12.9 million Twitter followers, while Clinton lags behind with a mere 10.1 million. But it’s hard to say how much those numbers mean if many of them represent robots. Sam Woolley, a researcher at the University of Washington who studies the political use of social media bots told Revelist “… that well over half of his [Trump] followers are actually automated, fake profiles made to look like real people.”

Mr. Howard told CNN, “The takeaway is that we should be skeptical about social media … Politicians use bots to influence debate, it’s often a form of negative campaign, because in many cases these bots can be very vicious.”


Filippo Menczer, a computer scientist at Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing said that botnets have been deployed in a variety of countries to squelch dissent. “We’ve seen examples in other countries – in Russia, Iran and in Mexico – of bots used to destroy social movements,” “They would impede conversations. . . . All of a sudden, you would see hundreds of thousands of junk tweets flooding your feed.”

Notice the Trump – Russia tie.

This is one of the risks of automating work with bots, which I wrote about here . The pro-Trump bots keep counting themselves to skew their total numbers upward and bury the discussion points from actual voters under the avalanche of bot chat.

Watch out – It won’t be too long before chat bots get their own rights under dubious SCOTUS rulings like Citizen United.


Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.