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Heartbleed: The Message that is Least Boring Wins

Heartbleed: The Message that is Least Boring Wins

A huge internet security flaw (known as “Heartbleed”) was exposed this week, and now is a great time to change your passwords. Also, if you have shared potentially damaging secret information with anyone over a secure website, you should probably start working on an alibi.

Security expert Bruce Schneier calls this one an “11” on a scale of 1 to 10.

The name “Heartbleed” is meant to communicate how severe this bug is.

That’s what interests me most about Heartbleed. It has its own name, logo and website. You can see how common and uninteresting it would look without a logo and website.

That’s right, Heartbleed’s actual name is “CVE-2014-0160”.

People like it when there are extra little cues that show how important something is. Especially when that thing typically comes packaged the same way every time, like security vulnerabilities with these long “CVE” titles. So the “Heartbleed” name has been a pretty huge boost for this bug’s publicity.

What you do, or make, or sell, is probably boring in some way. Do your customers read your messages as “CVE-blah-blah-blah,” or are they temporarily transfixed by your creativity?

By putting a little more effort into your communications, you can usually be less boring.

Use catchy imagery, pick a cool title, grab a domain name.

When you are less boring, people will be more likely to remember you and your valuable message.

P.S. Change your passwords—it really was that bad.

Photo of Marc Carson