The verdict is still out on the extent of the damage caused by the Heart bleed bug. The bug has been called “catastrophic”, the “bug that broke the Internet”, and the worst vulnerability in the history of the Internet. Fixing it will be a “herculean task”.
While system admins have been hustling to push fixes at their servers, thousands of passwords have been compromised.
Immediately after the outbreak, tech experts were suggesting users hold off before changing their passwords until fixes were applied to servers. Since then several anti-virus and password vault companies have developed a Heartbleed bug checker. Type a site’s URL into the tester, and the results will tell you whether or not that site’s servers were affected by the bug. Find one by doing a search for “heartbleed check”.
Using the same password for all your accounts is tantamount to providing your housekey to everyone who drives down your street. The bad guys on the Internet are too smart and insidious.
It’s time to change our cavalier attitude toward Internet security.
- Don’t use the same password for multiple sites.
- Use a strong password generator to create hard-to-guess passwords. You can set the length, and whether to use numbers, symbols or punctuation in the password.
- Take advantage of 2-step verification options, such as Google’s security options.
- Use a password vault, such as LastPass, KeyPass or 1Password. There are many different vault options available. Don’t forget to include your mobile phone.
- Surf the Internet using private or stealth mode in your browser.
~Catherine Buck Morgan
Corporate Media Specialist, DPP
- Weekend Project: Start Guarding Yourself Against Heartbleed (readwrite.com)