What you must know about the heart bleed bug

on Tuesday, 17 June 2014. Posted in N21 Experts

 

Unless you have been abducted by aliens or had your head buried in the sand over the last month then you will have heard about the Heartbleed Bug.

 

This has been the biggest security threat that the internet has ever seen. So big infact that it has it's own name, logo and website, in effect establishing it's own brand!

What is the risk?

 

The Heartbleed Bug has affected many popular websites and services, probably including some that you use on a regular basis. The big concern is that it could have quietly been exposing your sensitive account details (passwords and credit card) over the last two years.

 

While still not completely clear as to what companies or services were exposed, it is generally agreed that the following may have been:

 

• Facebook

• Instagram

• Pinterest

• Tumblr

• Yahoo

• Google

• Etsy

• GoDaddy

• YouTube


How to protect yourself

The good news is that most responsible companies that may have been affected have already applied server security patches to fix the issue. However, it is sensible and advised that users changes their passwords as a precautionary measure.

 

Protecting yourself online is of critical importance and so in light of this latest scare we thought it worth recapping some of the ways you can help protect yourself.

 

Do's and Don'ts

• Use between 8-15 characters for a password

 

• Use an encrypted file or password manager for generating strong passwords and for safe keeping of them (there are some great open source free software programmes out there such as keypass.com)

 

• Change your password periodically or if you suspect it has become compromised

 

• NEVER use a dictionary word

 

• Don't use the same password for multiple accounts

 

• Predictable passwords are bad so never use names, birth dates, quotes or numerical sequences

 

• Do not ever tell anyone your password or let them see you type it into your account

 

• Never send your password via email

 

• Never tick the 'remember me' option for your password

 

For more useful online advice go to the Nippy Gecko Techtalk

 

 

Unless you have been abducted by aliens or had your head buried in the sand over the last month then you will have heard about the Heartbleed Bug.

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