You may have recently read or heard about the Heartbleed Bug in the news or online. But what exactly is the Heartbleed Bug? Is your online identity safe? Here’s a rundown on the Heartbleed Bug and what you can do to help protect your identity.
The Heartbleed Bug Defined
The Heartbleed Bug is a security flaw with OpenSSL. OpenSSL is a popular encryption standard that is used by a huge portion of the web. Online attackers who are aware of the security flaw can trick the server into revealing usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and other personal information. As a result, a number of popular websites have been affected.
What Web Sites Are Impacted?
A handful of email and social media sites have been the target for online identity thieves looking to steal a consumer’s personal information. Free® has not been impacted by the Heartbleed Bug. Digital forensic specialists have created a list of websites that are vulnerable to Heartbleed along with suggestions on whether your password is safe or not. You may want to consider changing your username and password on any sites you feel may have been compromised. CNET also provides a running list of websites that have already been patched.
Your Plan of Action
Many websites have already made adjustments to combat and patch the bug. If you’re a member of any site affected, changing your username and password is a good start for making sure your online identity remains safe. Create strong and different passwords across multiple websites. Scrutinize your online banking accounts and statements as well to make sure nothing looks suspicious.
Checking your credit report, credit monitoring, can alert you of any suspicious activity. If you think you’re a victim of identity theft, there are some immediate steps you can take to protect your credit from further damage.
This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., an Experian company. © 2014 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. All rights reserved.