Alright folks, looks like it is time once again to change all the passwords for all our online accounts. The latest of mega-data breaches is here, and it looks like a big one.
Have you heard about Heartbleed yet? It is an encryption flaw in the security software of many popular websites like Pinterest, Yahoo and Airbnb. IT IS NOT A VIRUS, but it does allow hackers to gain access to your personal information, like passwords, usernames, even the cookies on websites you regularly browse.
The worst part? This isn’t a new thing. The security flaw has been there for TWO YEARS now, and was only recently discovered. Further, there is nothing you can do about it now but to move forward with new passwords and to monitor your bank accounts for any fraudulent activity.
Remember a few months ago when we advised that you only enter your credit card information on websites with a URL beginning HTTPS://, because the “S” indicates that it is security encrypted? While we stand by that bit of information, in an unfortunate turn of events, an estimated 50% of those websites were vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug.
On a positive note, it would seem that the Heartbleed bug hasn’t been exploited to its full potential; in fact, it is now thought that researchers were the first to find the problem. Which isn’t to say that a hacker couldn’t have infiltrated the system, only that if they did, they left no trace.
So how do you go about protecting yourself now? As we’ve already said, it is time to change your passwords for any major accounts (bank accounts, social media, email, etc.). But don’t rush out to do it just yet, wait until you have received confirmation from the site that the patch has been applied and the system is now fixed. Otherwise you are just wasting your time and will need to repeat the process later.
We recommend that you consider a password manager to help you keep up with all the changes you will need to make. LastPass is great for storing passwords, and also for helping to generate new ones.
Source – How to protect yourself from the Heartbleed bug
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