Heartbleed Bug: What You Need to Know
A bug known as “Heartbleed” is making major headlines. Here’s what it means to you and the steps you can take to minimize potential harm.
What is Heartbleed?
“Heartbleed” is a security flaw that affects the technology called “OpenSSL” that is used to encrypt websites. These websites usually begin with “https” and have a lock next to the URL. The Heartbleed bug could give attackers access to the information that was entered on a website, including user names and passwords.
What websites are affected?
Roughly 2/3 of active sites on the internet use Open SSL and could be vulnerable to attacks. However, most major sites acted quickly to fix any vulnerability and ensure the safety of their website and customers. If you’re wondering if a particular website is safe or still vulnerable you can check using this tool, which has been recommended by security experts: https://filippo.io/Heartbleed/.
How to Protect Yourself
- To check other websites: The best thing to do is to confirm that a website is safe using the tool above, and then change your password. Yahoo, Google, and USAA are just a handful of the sites urging users to change their passwords.
- The safest bet is to change all of your passwords. While it may be time consuming to go through this process, it’s a great time to set up a password manager (like KeePass) which will save you time in the long run.
- USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/04/09/heartbleed-five-questions/7501033/
- Mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/04/11/mashable-explains-heartbleed-2/
- Security Expert Bruce Schneier: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/04/more_on_heartbl.html
We talk a lot about the importance of exercising caution while online. A report published by AARP titled Caught in the Scammers Net pointed to 9 specific online behaviors that increased the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. Some of these behaviors include clicking on pop-ups and selling products on eBay. To see the full list of behaviors that increase the risk of falling victim to identity theft, please visit our blog: https://www.allclearid.com/blog/top-9-things-to-avoid-online
Stay safe online…!
– Greatson Media