Most people that know me would say I’m rather level headed. I’m not likely to over react to situations, and I have a pretty relaxed attitude about most things. But then, all of the sudden, there’s a major security bug that has been discovered (after being present for two years).
You’ve probably heard about heartbleed. As I often try to do, I’m going to attempt to explain the steps you need to take in simple lay terms.
(If you haven’t heard of this, that’s fine; just do these two things, now would be good)
Check your sites. Go to the Heartbleed test website and type in the name of any site you do business with (I started with my bank). There is (in the related articles section) an article from Mashable titled “The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now.”
Change Your Passwords. Yes, I really mean it. Oh, and you’re supposed to have DIFFERENT passwords at EVERY site, and you’re supposed to remember them all. Before you tell me that’s impossible, read the article in the “related articles” titled “Spring Cleaning for Your Technology: Part 3 of 4.” In this article, my colleague Fran explains her system for having different passwords for everything – but not really.
Now that you’ve checked your sites and changed your passwords, you can move along on the related articles section and check out all the articles I’ve linked to.
But if you want to save time and energy and frustration, just check your sites and change your passwords.
NOTE – you don’t really need to change ALL of your passwords, just the ones containing current priority information. Your bank, YES GO CHANGE THAT. But if you haven’t ordered a pair of shoes from zappos.com in 5 years and the credit card you used is now expired, it’s not that urgent. Ahhh — forget it — change them ALL!
- The Heartbleed Hitlist: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now. Mashable Team (mashable.com)
- Spring Cleaning for Your Technology: Part 3 of 4. Fran Strohm (franstrohm.com)
- What the “Heartbleed” Security Bug Means For You. Whitson Gordon (lifehacker.com)
- Why You Should Worry About Heartbleed. Anick Jesdanun and Michael Liedtke (inc.com)
- The 5 Things To Do About the New Heartbleed Bug. James Fallows (theatlantic.com)
Just as an aside, I have GOT to hand it to an Italian cryptologist in Milan named Filippo Valsorda. He developed an FAQ and a fix, and on the Heartbleed test site that everyone is looking at, there’s a promotion for his services to fix Heartbleed on websites. Talk about making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net