What You Need to Know About Heartbleed

Heartbleed FAQ

By now, you have probably read the term or heard someone say something about ‘Heartbleed.’ Recently, it was discovered that there is a small bug that in software that is designed to keep your password and other login information safe. There isn’t a need to panic, but learning about Heartbleed can help keep you protected now and in the future.

What is Heartbleed?

In simple terms, Heartbleed is a software bug that allows hackers to access and steal your personal information like passwords. And if someone can access your passwords, they can access just about anything.

How it Works?

Most web servers use software called OpenSSL, which allows websites to provide encrypted information to visitors. Essentially, it makes it so that usernames, passwords, and cookies can’t be seen by a hacker while your computer or mobile devise is sending information to the website. It was recently discovered that the latest edition (1.0.1 released in April of 2012) has a small bug in it that allows a person to retrieve information without leaving a trace. Hackers are able to use this bug to retrieve additional information that isn’t normally sent back from the server. By doing this, hackers can gain information like passwords, cookies, and other login credentials.

Who is affected?

The truth is that everyone has the potential to be affected by Heartbleed. Since you more than likely have an account on more than one website, there is a good chance you could be affected. In some cases, websites suspend services in order to correct the problem. However, most websites have now determined whether or not they were affected by the bug.

What you should do?

Don’t panic. Since most websites were able to catch this in time, you are more than likely safe. However, what you should do is log in to your accounts and change your passwords. In most cases, if an online service or company was affected, they contacted those who were affected. Just to be safe, you should take a look at this comprehensive list of websites and see if you need to change your password or not.

Helpful Tips

  • Change your password for important services
  • Don’t use the same password for all of your online accounts
  • Use passwords with ten or more characters and use a variety of characters (lower case, upper case, and numbers)

Think you may have a problem caused by the Heartbleed bug? Give Diverse Tech Services a call and we will provide a solution for you. 

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