What is HeartBleed & Should You Worry?

heartbleed logoYou’ve probably heard the news over the past several days about the Internet security bug known as “HeartBleed.” Media outlets have been buzzing about how far reaching its implications are. If you use online services, there is a good chance you need to take some action. Not to panic though, there is an even better chance that none of your information has been compromised. Someone would have had to be reading memory from an affected system at the precise moment after you had entered your information. Among the billions of interactions these large servers process, the odds are definitely in your favor.

What Is It?

In short, HeartBleed is a flaw in an Internet security system called SSL (Secure Socket Layer) that may allow information to be read from memory of an otherwise secure server. This data could include user account information, passwords, etc. So, how does this affect you, and how are we at WebTech handling it?

What You Need to Know

First and foremost, we want to let you know that WebTech’s servers are not vulnerable to this issue and that your websites, data and visitor transactions have been, and remain, safe. We and our hosting partner stay abreast of our security and software so we can avoid issues such as this.

What You Should Do

If you use any of the major websites, email systems, or social media, there is a good chance you have some work to do. Most major websites used a version of SSL software that was affected by HeartBleed. whois . This includes Google, Facebook, Instagram, Yahoo, Pinterest, and many more. Once these sites have patched their servers, you should update your passwords. This is important – you need to wait until they have fixed their servers.

You can find a comprehensive list of affected sites and their status here: http://j.mp/1ifB1CC

In the interest of your security as one of our valued clients, we recommend that you visit the link above to determine what site passwords you should change.

Note that if a site has not yet patched their system, you should leave the password as is until they do – otherwise you could expose your new password and may be lulled into a false sense of security.

Extra Steps You Can Take

Passwords are only as secure as you make them. Most people use one, or just a few passwords over and over, and they tend to be easy to guess. To make more secure passwords, we recommend the use of password management applications such as Roboform, 1Password, and LastPass, which allow you to randomly generate passwords, while storing them in an encrypted file on your local machine or mobile device.

Want to Learn More About HeartBleed?

For a more detailed technical explanation of HeartBleed, please visit Mashable.com: http://j.mp/OZ5ZDz