With two-thirds of the most popular websites affected, the Heartbleed Bug remains the biggest threat to identity theft–potentially resulting in more stolen information than the 110 million affected by the Target breach. We say potentially because, as of yet, no one really knows just how much damage has been done. But we’ll show you how to stay safe and what you should do to prevent further vulnerability.
If you feel you might have already been the victim of identity theft, read through our identity theft checklist and see if you might be a victim and how to mend the damage.
Check Before You Change:
While some people have been racing to change all their passwords in light of the Heartbleed Bug break, many are doing so prematurely. Changing your passwords won’t matter if the site is still vulnerable. Before you go about the painstaking process of changing all your passwords you first need to make sure the site has been fixed. Make sure that it was one of the websites vulnerable, that they’ve updated their OpenSSL patch and that they have new security in place.
Check The List:
There have been many lists put out there recently with all of the (popular) websites affected by the bug that will give you an itemized catalog of vulnerable sites. One of the best out there right now is “The Heartbleed Hit List” from Mashable. They list if the site was affected, if it was patched, and if you should change your password.
LastPass is a great online tool for finding out if a particular site is vulnerable to the heartbleed bug. While many people have listed the most popular sites, this site is great for finding out if less popular sites have been affected or if they’ve updated their systems. They even make recommendations based on your history of password changes.
Wait, If Need Be:
If a site in question hasn’t been updated yet or remains unclear, as much as it might be burdensome, try and wait until it is fixed. It won’t do any good to change a password on a site that’s still vulnerable.
Change, Change, Change:
If all of the above are in place, you can finally change your passwords based on their recommendations. Make sure and use quality passwords.