NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?
1. It's time to change your passwords. LinkedIn's (LNKD) unfortunate news this weekend that about 6.5 million user passwords were found on a Russian file server provides some valuable lessons in password security.
LinkedIn suggests its users change their passwords, and the news is the perfect reason to lay best practices for password use, says digital expert Shelly Palmer in his blog.
"Let's change our passwords from weak, stupid ones to strong, smart ones and ... let's make a few different ones so that we don't use the same one on every site. Inconvenient? You bet it is. And the more inconvenient it is for you, the more inconvenient it will be for the hackers who want your stuff," Palmer writes.Palmer says that when a website asks for security questions, they do not need to know the factual answers to these questions. It is simply a way to recognize that you are indeed the same person as the one opened an account. "So, never use real birth date, your real ZIP code, the real town where you met your husband, your mother's maiden name, the last four digits of your social security number or anything else I can find out about you with Google (GOOG) or on your Facebook (FB) or LinkedIn profile," he writes. When typing in a password be sure to use upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Go one step further by using mnemonics. Take it even further for strong password and replace letters with numbers and symbols. And keep in mind that the longer a password is, the stronger it is, Palmer writes. 2. Four emerging green business opportunities. Even though it's getting harder to stand out in the eco-friendly business sector, there are still plenty of businesses for which demand is growing, according to Small Business Trends. One area that sees no sign of slowdown is production of organic and sustainably grown foods. U.S. sales of organic food and beverages rose from $1 billion in 1990 to $29.2 billion last year, the article says, citing the Organic Trade Association. As consumers turn to healthier food choices and demand grows from places such as schools, there are plenty of business opportunities in agriculture, food production and the restaurant industry, Small Business Trends says.
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