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5 New Ways People Are Using Instagram

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Are you on top of the latest Instagram trends? Here are five current trends that have really taken off.

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Etsy Products Are Coming to Offline Retail Stores

Wednesday April 16, 2014

This summer, Etsy is opening its Wholesale channel publicly to qualified retailers in the U.S. and abroad. That means that you'll be able to find some of the very same handmade, vintage and artisian goods from Etsy sellers in your favorite physical retail stores -- like Nordstrom, West Elm and Indigo.

Etsy Wholesale, which launched in private beta last year, will require participants to pay a one-time sign up fee of $100 plus a 3.5-percent transaction fee for whoesale orders. Etsy sellers will be able to take advantage of the fact that nearly 90 percent of retail commerce still occurs offline these days by gaining the the opportunity to find more buyers so they can grow their businesses.

The public launch is scheduled for this August, and Etsy is currently taking applications from interested buyers and sellers now.

Photo Etsy, Inc.

1Password Is Having a Heartbleed Sale

Monday April 14, 2014

By now, you've probably been exposed to at least one chaotic news story about the Heartbleed bug and how terrible it is for all of us who need to maintain so many online accounts. Hackers gonna hack, and we've all got about a bajillion passwords that need to be changed because of it.

If you've already gone ahead and changed your passwords for the list of previously vulnerable but now patched sites, then good for you. As an additional step, I highly recommend getting set up with a good password manager like 1Password or LastPass to further secure all your online accounts and keep them organized.

I use 1Password, and right now they're offering 50 percent off in wake of the Heartbleed bug. A tool like 1Password can help you automatically build strong passwords, store them so you don't have to remember them all, and sync them up across all your web browsers and devices.

It's time to stop using the same birthday or phone number password for every single account you have, and avoid scribbling it down on a piece of paper or storing it in a random doc or notepad file somewhere on your computer.

For more on this topic, check out our mobile office technology expert's comparison of five of the web's top password managers.

Photo Laurence Dutton / Getty Images

Facebook to Pull Messaging Feature from Main App, Wants You to Use Messenger App Instead

Friday April 11, 2014

Soon, you won't be able to send or receive any Facebook messages through its main app. The social network is beginning to inform users that they'll have to download the standalone Facebook Messenger app for iOS or Android if they want to send or receive messages on mobile.

Facebook wants to separate messaging from the rest of the social network on mobile to promote a "more focused experience." But even though chatting through the Facebook Messenger app is indeed much faster and easier than doing so through the main app, not everyone wants to have multiple Facebook apps installed on their phones just to be able to use all the features.

Another bold move from Facebook. Users in Europe have already started to receive notifications about the change, and they'll have about two weeks before they'll be required to download the Messenger app if they want to keep using Facebook messages from their mobile devices.

Photo Facebook

Here's Why You Should Consider Changing Your Online Passwords

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Heartbleed -- the name of the recently discovered security flaw in OpenSSL -- could possibly affect up to two-thirds of all websites on the Internet. The bug makes it possible for anyone to hack web servers running specific versions of OpenSSL and gain access to user information, passwords, encryption keys and website content.

Security expert Bruce Schneier called the bug "catastrophic" today on his blog. "On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11," he writes.

Before you panic and rush off to change all of your passwords to your online accounts, you should consider testing each site for the vulnerability. This test site was one of the first to pop up, although it's been criticized for being somewhat inaccurate.

The Atlantic has recommended this industrial-strength test site, and this one too. And here's another test site option from LastPass.

Any site that comes through as safe is a go for password changing. You can still change your password if a site does not come through as safe, however you'll need to change it again once the SSL for that site has been repaired. Be on the lookout for emails or updates from the sites you use regularly about information regarding the vulnerability and/or about changing your password.

You can visit Heartbleed.com for more information about the bug, and follow these tips to make your passwords as strong as possible.

Photo from Heartbleed.com

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