There is a really new (BAD) bug out there called Heartbleed. Many people think it doesn’t affect them, but sadly, it probably does. In fact, this bug could potentially affect around 2/3 of web servers!!! Some of these sites include email, Facebook or even your work computer.
You know when you are on a site and you see the little lock icon on the screen? Well, this bug infected that. Yep. Turns out that it wasn’t as strong at protecting your data as originally thought. What this bug does is grabs usernames, passwords and other data as you are logging into the site’s server.
So, what should you do? Here are some things you need to know to ensure you are protected.
Do Not Panic. There is not any need to fear being on line, you just need to be more careful. Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity and notify your bank or credit card company immediately if you see anything. The biggest thing you need to look for are small transactions. This is how the number is tested and most of the time, people don’t notice small transactions.
Change Your Password – but not too early. You may have read that you need to go and change your passwords. Well, yes and no. Yes, you need to change them, but do not do so until the site let’s you know or you go to log on and are prompted.
The reason is that the site must first correct their own vulnerabilities. If you change your password before the corrective actions are taken, you will just have to do it again as the site is still open to attack.
Do not use the password reset link sent to you in the email. This is the time when hackers and thieves are going to be trying to gain access to your information. If you receive an email from a website with a password reset link, do not click it. Instead, just go directly to the site and log in. The site will prompt you to change your password at that time and if they did not, you can contact them to see if they sent the email or not.
Do not log into your sites until you know it is safe. Test the site you want to visit to find out if it was affected. Before you log onto any sites (for a while), you should check to see if your site was attacked. You can go HERE and then type in the site’s address to see if it is safe to proceed and login or not.
If a site you use frequently has been affected, try not to log in until you are notified that the issue has been corrected.
You might want to read more at the Heartbleed Bug Website. It is just important that this threat is taken seriously and you know what and when you need to take action to protect your identity.