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World’s Leading Ethical Companies 2017

21 Nov

Do consumers care if the firms they patronize are ethical? Often, the answer is yes. And these people may stop buying a product and tell their friends if the firm is not.  As a result, ethical behavior is a must. Thus, this post focuses on the world’s leading ethical companies 2017.

Each year, Ethisphere® Institute honors the world’s most ethical companies. In addition, it offers insights:

“Ethisphere honors companies who recognize their role in society. They influence and drive positive change in the business community. And societies worldwide. These firms know their actions affect employees, investors, customers, and others. In addition, they integrity is the underpinning of decisions.”

Click the links to see Ethisphere’s prior two rankings:   2016: World’s Most Ethical Firms .   2015: World’s Most Ethical Companies.

 

 

World’s Leading Ethical Companies 2017

For 2017, Ethisphere honorees represent 5 continents, 19 countries, and 52 industries. Thirteen firms are 11-time honorees. And 8 firms are first-time honorees.

Ethisphere honors companies

“that excel in three areas. (1) They promote ethical business standards and practices from within. (2) These standards enable managers and employees to make good choices. (3) They shape future industry standards with tomorrow’s best practices today. Honorees tend to outperform others financially. And this connects good ethical practices and performance.”

Although ethical honorees come from 19 countries, U.S. firms dominate. In fact, U.S. companies account for 75 of the 100 firms. France and Britain tie for second with three firms each.

To see the full list of 100 firms, click the image that appears below. The list sorts companies in alphabetical order. Then, to read insights on ethical performance, click “Download here.” Note: Complete a free login to download the insights.

 

World's Leading Ethical Companies 2017. Ethisphere rankings
 

Stronger FTC Influencer Marketing Rules

17 Nov

Influencer marketing is a BIG deal today. With influencer marketing, we target well-known individuals. Their effect on the purchase decision is significant for some consumers (followers). Because of some abuses in the use of influencer marketing, stronger FTC influencer marketing rules introduced new rules.

Our past posts on influencer marketing include the following:  Influencer Marketing: Coming of Age  How to Best Reach Influencers: An Infographic.

 

Why Stronger FTC Influencer Marketing Rules Are Needed

As far back as 2013, we asked. “Is It OK for Celebrities to Plug Products on Social Media?” Why?

Consider these observations from Nick Bilton, writing for the NY Times:

“Today, celebrities and people with large social media followings promote products, But often we cannot know if it’s an authentic plug. Or if they were paid to say nice things. Take Miley Cyrus, the pop star traveling around America promoting her new album. One morning, she posted on Twitter: ‘Thanks @blackjet for the flight to Silicon Valley!’ The details of the arrangement between BlackJet, a Silicon Valley start-up that arranges for private jet travel, and Ms. Cyrus are unclear. But Dean Rotchin, chief executive of BlackJet, said ‘she received some consideration for her tweet.’ Ms. Cyrus did not respond to a request for comment.”

So, these questions arise. Does a celebrity call out a product because they believe in it — without being paid? Or does the celebrity endorse a product because they receive payment?

 

Stronger FTC Influencer Marketing Rules Now in Effect

Because of ethical abuses, the FTC moved to set standards for acceptable influencer marketing.

Lawyer Jeff Brown gave his take on this issue for Advertising Age: “The FTC watches activity in social media channels. And it is prepared to take action against both advertisers and influencers if ‘material connections’ between an influencer and any promoted product or service are not clearly and conspicuously disclosed.”

To learn more, directly from the FTC, click the links:

  • FTC Endorsement Guides: What People Are Asking. Suppose you meet someone who tells you about a great new product. She tells you it performs wonderfully. And that it offers fantastic new features. Would that recommendation factor into your decision to buy? Probably.  Now suppose the person works for the firm selling the product. Or receives payment from the firm to tout the product. Would you want to know that when you evaluate the glowing recommendation? You bet.”
  • Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. “The Guides represent  interpretations of laws enforced by the FTC.  They provide the basis for voluntary compliance by advertisers and endorsers. Practices inconsistent with these Guides may result in corrective action by the FTC. And this occurs if, after investigation, the FTC believes believe practices involve conduct  unlawful by statute.”
  • FTC Staff Reminds Influencers to Clearly Disclose Relationship. “The FTC reviewed Instagram posts by celebrities, athletes, and other influencers. As a result, FTC staff sent out more than 90 letters. And the letters reminded influencers and marketers to conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media. They mark the first time that FTC staff reached out directly to educate social media influencers themselves.”

 

Click the image to read more by lawyer Jeff Brown.

Stronger FTC Influencer Marketing Rules Now in Effect

Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

 

Must Read!! Build Stronger Passwords NOW.

23 Oct

Our posts on password security span the entire period of our (Evans on Marketing) existence. In each case, our goal is for you to build stronger passwords NOW. Today’s post is a MUST READ.

These are some of our prior posts. They are presented in reverse chronological order. Password security is not a new or recent concern!!

 

Old Rules to Build Stronger Passwords

For years, experts (including us) have stressed these “rules” for strong passwords. Many of them still make sense. Yet, further password security is needed!

Aside: Too few of YOU even use these tips.

Evans on Marketing: Tips for Behaving Safely Online (2012) — “What makes a good password. (a) Don’t use your name or combinations of it. (b) Use at least 6 to 8 characters. (c) Include at least one letter, number, and symbol. (d) Don’t use one password for all accounts. If one is hacked, then … .”

Microsoft: Create a Strong Password  (2017) –“Strong passwords help prevent unauthorized people from accessing files, programs, and more. It should be hard to guess or crack. A good password is at least 8 characters. The password doesn’t contain your user name, real name, or firm name. It is quite different from previous passwords.  You use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It doesn’t contain a complete word.”

Google Account Help: Creating a Strong Password (2017)  — “To keep safe, act on these tips. Use a unique password for each important account. Use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t use personal information or common words. Make sure your backup password options are up-to-date and secure.”

Guidry Consulting: How To Create Strong Passwords (2017) — “Strong passwords must be not in use on any other system. They must be changed regularly. The passwords must be 12 characters or more. They must mix upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The passwords must not be common words or proper nouns. And they must not be names of your spouse, kids, pets, or other personal identifiers.”

Click the image to read more from Guidry Consulting.

Build Stronger Passwords NOW. Must Read!! Tech Tips on password protection.

 

Why Old Password Rules Aren’t Enough Today

Look at why old password rules are not enough.

Auth0: Don’t Pass on New NIST Password Guidelines (2017) — “The NIST drafted new rules  to protect digital identities, published in June 2017. Substantial changes have been made since the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s 2013 report. Many concern passwords. The NIST advises dropping password complexity rules. It suggests new encryption standards. And it wants multi-factor authentication for sensitive information.”

Build Stronger Passwords NOW. Must Read!! NIST Digital Identity Guidelines.

Click the image to access NIST SP 800-63-3

 

According to Auth0, “Conventional wisdom says password complexity is good. But in reality, complex passwords can do harm. Making users’ lives easier ensures stronger passwords. A big problem for users is remembering passwords. So, they make them simple. And they re-use them. In 2016, Experian found Millennials averaged 40 services registered to one E-mail account, and only five distinct passwords.  In response, some firms have required a number, or symbol, or capital letter to make passwords harder to decrypt. BUT, an earlier study found users simply capitalized the first letter and added a “1” or “!” to the end. This made the password no harder to crack. Any [decent] password cracker knows these patterns. When required to use numbers, 70% of users on rockyou.com (which contained user info for social networks) added numbers before or after their password.”

Fortune reports that the creator of many old rules has changed his mind (2017) — The man responsible for the requirement that passwords include letters, numbers, and special characters is walking back that advice. ‘Much of what I did [for the NIST in 2003], I now regret,’ Bill Burr told the Wall Street Journal. He added that the recommendation led to complicated passwords. A re-write of ‘Special Publication 800-63’ now suggests that users create passwords with long, easy-to-remember phrases. And they should not be forced to change passwords as often. “

 


 
 

MUST READ: NEW Rules to Build Stronger Passwords Now

This section has a synopsis of new password advice. It includes an infographic by Evans on Marketing. It ties together tips from various sources.

XeusHack: Choosing a Strong Password in 2017 (2017) —  “Password strength is a measure of password effectiveness to resist guessing and brute-force attacks. In its usual form, it estimates how many trials an attacker would need, on average, to guess correctly. The strength of a password depends on length, complexity, and unpredictability. You must learn how passwords work, how possible attacks to break them work, and how to choose a strong password that won’t break.”

Lifewire: 5 Steps to a Good Password (2017) — “There is no such thing as a perfect password. A committed hacker can crack any password, with the right tools. But if the protection is strong enough, the hacker may become discouraged and give up before the protection fails. We suggest a password with 3 qualities. (1) It is neither a proper noun nor a word in the dictionary. (2) It is complex enough that it resists repetition attacks. (3) It is intuitive enough that you can still remember it.”

 

Click the infographic to see a larger version of our password tips.

Must Read!! Build Stronger Passwords NOW. This infographic gives up-to-date password tips for Web site developers and us as Internet users.
 

MUST READ: Using a Password Manager

What is a password manager? Why should we use one as our best line of defense?

Webroot gives a good overview on this topic:

“How can we create and remember so many unique passwords? The best solution today is a password manager. It offers both convenience and security. Password managers come as lightweight plugins for Web browsers such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. First passwords are saved in an encrypted database. Second, your credentials are automatically filled in.”

“The major benefit of a password manager is that you need to remember a single master password. This allows you to use unique, strong passwords chosen for each of your online accounts. Just remember one strong password. The manager will take care of the rest.”

Take a look at this video from Vox.

In alphabetical order, these are four popular password managers. NOTE: Both LastPass and KeePass have free versions!

 

Unfriend Social Media Content?

19 Oct

As we have noted before, we spend lots of time on social media. And sometimes, we commit blunders! So here’s a question for you. Should YOU unfriend social media content?

Consider these prior posts: Do You Protect Your Reputation?   Social Media Policy for Employees.   Does Social Media Use Harm Your Career?   Don’ts for Businesses on Social MediaWhat People Want from Brands On Social Media.

 

Unfriend Social Media Content? TMI

Sometimes, we realize as soon as we hit the enter key that we should not have posted certain content. Other times, we may not know that our content is improper until someone points that out. Still other times, we never recognize that we have improper content. In those instances, no one points it out to us. And this can be a BIG problem if a potential employer sees improper content. It may be even worse if our present employer notices such content.

Trend Micro is a leader in secure content and threat management. Its headquarters are in Tokyo. The firm operates in more than 30 countries around the globe. The Security Intelligence Blog represents the official blog of TrendLabs, the research, development, and support arm of Trend Micro. “Researchers, engineers, and other experts in various security threats work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to deliver solutions to the plethora of threats that confront users and businesses on a daily basis.”

One TrendLabs blog post covers the risk of placing content on social media. The infographic focuses on the risks of social media content. “You have the right to remain private. Anything you post can and will be used against you.” The infographic includes Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Mixi (from Japan), Pinterest, Sina Weibo (from China), Tumblr, and Twitter. Click the infographic for a larger view.

 

Unfriend Social Media Content? TMI: Too Much Information on social media.
 

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