Don’t Let Your Data Get Stolen
In the past few years, data breaches have become more common and larger in scale. While people still need to worry about viruses and malware, the majority of identity theft cases now take place at the institutional level and can affect hundreds of thousands if not millions of users.
Heartbleed, the newest threat to internet security, wasn’t a top secret government project this time. However, there have been reports which say the NSA knew about and regularly utilized the Heartbleed exploit during hacking operations.
Heartbleed is a security exploit that affects OpenSSL, an open source security software used in many web servers. The exploit takes advantage of information sent from a user’s computer when they try to access a website. While the estimated number of websites affected by Heartbleed ranges from 15-60%, here are three ways to keep your data from being compromised.
1. Use a Heartbleed Checking Tool
There are now a number of tools freely available online (like this one: that can check to see if a site is infected by Heartbleed. If you are concerned about a site that is important to you, make sure you run it through one of these web tools to see if there may be a security issue.
2. Change Your Password
If any of the sites you use regularly or have sensitive personal information were affected by Heartbleed, change your password. If the site is still experiencing the Heartbleed issue, it might be a good idea to change your password now and once again after the issue is fixed.
3. Use Multiple Passwords
Using the same password for all your different accounts is a very risky practice. Even cycling a series of passwords between sites could set you up for a data loss incident. The best passwords include a combination of upper and lower case characters, numbers, and special characters. If you still want a little more security, a combination of four unique and unrelated words (example: Monkey Wagon Brine Isotope) can also be effective.
Does the state of internet security worry you? Let the world know what you think!