Heartbleed Sends Tech World Into a Panic — Here’s What You Can Do

heartbleed

The tech world has been in a bit of a panic since the bug dubbed Heartbleed was discovered. While some very popular networks were affected, they have all acted quickly to implement a fix.

According to Codenomicon’s Heartbleed site, the bug is a coding error that is in popular versions of the OpenSSL.

This compromises the secret keys used to identify service providers and to encrypt the traffic — the names and passwords of users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data from services and users, and to impersonate services and users.

The bad news was that the companies and services affected included Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon Web Services, GoDaddy and Intuit, among others. The good news is that as of yesterday, all of the companies say they have implemented the patch and taken measures to protect user data.

Now that the fix is in, the onus is on users to change their passwords. CNET also recommends contacting small businesses that handle your data and keeping an eye on financial statements, “because attackers can access a server’s memory for credit card information.”

When resetting passwords, remember these helpful tips:

  • Don’t use the same password across multiple sites.
  • Don’t use birth dates or names of family members.
  • Do use three or four random but common words.
  • Do change passwords frequently.
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