This past April brought to light a bug that affected computer systems worldwide. Thousands of computers and servers were left vulnerable to hacker attacks. Businesses worldwide went into attack mode, finding any holes in their SSL encryption and patching them as quickly as possible. Although we know how and why the Heartbleed Bug occurred, many computers and servers across the world are still vulnerable.
Although the bug was widely reported and announced, not all users have acted to protect their computers and servers from continued attack. This means that many websites could be at risk from attacks until today. Here are some general tips on what to do to protect your information against the Heartbleed Bug and other online threats.
Check the website before visiting: If you are going to use a website that you are not sure has been cleared of the Heartbleed bug, use Last Pass to check if the website is safe. This site will tell you if the site was ever vulnerable and if it is currently safe. Last Pass will also recommend a password change if the tested website meets certain credentials.
Change your passwords regularly: Changing your passwords frequently is recommended to improve login security. Having passwords that are unique and do not repeat across sites is the best way to ensure that all your information will not be compromised in a cyber-attack. Use characters and numbers within your passwords and shy away from using phrases easily cracked. Changing your passwords every 4-8 months will help protect your information. Of course, if there is a new cyber-attack, change your passwords immediately.
Check the SSL: It is very easy to check the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Visit a SSL check site and enter in the website, domain or URL. The site will let you know if this page has an up-to-date SSL certificate. If the certificate is up to date, then the site can be considered safe to visit. Do not visit sites without a current SSL certificate.
Always Use an Anti-Virus Software: Every computer should be using reliable anti-virus software. This software checks your computer for viruses and malware that can leave your information vulnerable. Have the program run a weekly check to ensure that your computer is virus free and your information is safe and secure.
The Heartbleed Bug brought the dangers of online security to the forefront. There is a more proactive effort throughout the world to secure and maintain servers and computers because of attacks like the Heartbleed Bug, Cryptolocker and more. Be attentive when online and maintain the security of your information with these simple, easy steps to worry-free access online.