A major Internet security flaw called the Heartbleed bug has been making headlines ever since yesterday, prompting major companies like Google, Facebook and Instagram to implement patches to protect the security of their users’ private information.
What Is the Heartbleed Bug?
The Heartbleed bug has the potential to expose your online passwords and credit card information to hackers. This security vulnerability was present in any site using Open SSL software, a protocol that helps secure online transactions, according to the New York Times Bits blog.
The software was designed to encrypt data so that it can’t be stolen by a third party while it’s being transmitted, the blog explained. The Heartbleed flaw allows hackers to access some of this private data.
Which Passwords Should I Change?
Not every website that was vulnerable to this threat has a patch in place to fix the problem—at least not yet. Mashable contacted a number of large companies and asked if a patch was in place and if users should change their passwords. The following social networks and companies are encouraging their users to update their passwords:
- Yahoo Mail
- Intuit (Turbo Tax)
While Mashable’s initial list is by no means comprehensive, it is certainly a good start for updating your passwords.
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(Photo via Heartbleed.com)