Have you heard of the “Heartbleed Bug”? If not, you better keep reading as this is one of the most dangerous bugs to ever hit the Internet. Heartbleed is basically a loophole in the popular encryption technology known to most web developers as OpenSSL. This bug is alarming because it compromises the protocol used to protect emails, credit card information, and other credentials used in online transactions. There is no trail left; so, Internet users rarely realize that any theft has occurred. Because of this recent scare, people are wondering what they can do to protect their passwords, sensitive data, and credit card numbers. Here are some tips that could help people prevent Heartbleed Bug.
1. Make Sure All of the Web Services are Updated
All subsequent actions that you take will depend upon you upgrading your web services and encryption technology to include the fix. Before you change your passwords or order new credit cards, you need to update everything, or you’ll have to do it again after your software is updated. When it’s completed, you’ll need to alert the users of your website that your software has been updated and that they need to change their passwords.
In general, the patches and password changes will alleviate most of the problems and prevent future breaches. Fortunately, by now, most of the important services have been updated with the fix, which should make it safe to use services like Google and Amazon again.
2. Change Your Passwords
You should change all of your passwords immediately after the fix has been implemented to ensure that your information is not accessible by strangers. This will protect your bank account information, your private documents, and other sensitive information. Be cognizant of your passwords and make sure they are strong when you change them.
3. Make Your Passwords Stronger!
Your passwords should be strong to prevent hackers from easily determining what they are. For instance, experts suggest that the passwords be at least eight characters long and a combination of symbols, letters, and numbers. Your passwords should be unique for every site. Users commonly make the mistake of entering the same password for every site. It only takes one fake site to discover your password and compromise data from all other sites using the same password. Always vary your password from website to website to ensure that there will be no security breach.
4. Keep a Watchful Eye on Your Credit Card Statements
Be vigilant and check your credit card statements for any suspicious activity. Report any suspicious activity immediately to avoid your money or credit cards from being compromised. If you need to order new credit or debit cards, it would be a good idea to do so after the new encryption patch is installed. When you alert your financial institution that a breach has occurred, you’re more likely to prevent future breaches.
5. Avoid Smaller Websites
According to experts, smaller and more progressive services who are using the latest and greatest encryption software are most likely to be affected by the breach. Instead, you should choose companies that use conservative equipment and software because they are the least likely to experience any sort of breach. This is why experts are warning people to avoid doing business with smaller companies even if they have the latest encryption technology because they are the most targeted.
Prevent and Recover from the Heartbleed Bug
Unfortunately, with technology, bugs are inevitable, you just have to do whatever possible to avoid being one of those millions of people who fall prey to the Heartbleed bug. This bug is so harmful because it inflicts damage without detection. In fact, most people do not recognize that theft has occurred when the Heartbleed bug strikes. In many cases, this bug has gone undetected for over two years, which is a potential risk that most companies cannot afford to take. Protect your business by making the proper investments in encryption software.
As Always, Protect your Data with Online Backup
Hackers could use the heartbleed bug, or other loopholes yet to be discovered, to get access to all your personal data. Using a reputable online backup solution ensures that your data is continuously being backed up on the cloud. Using a high security online backup service will also ensure that only you (the owner of the files) can have access to the content, and nobody else.