Tech for Troglodytes: What to do about the Heartbleed Bug

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Bleeding heart in bloom this week, on a computer near you

Shall we take the Heartbleed bug seriously? Yes. We do not want hackers selling our credit card numbers, social security numbers and personalities. Think of it as housekeeping. Nasty but necessary.

Run, don’t walk.

Do these 5 things:

1. Change the passwords for your most important and sensitive sites — banks, credit cards, mortgage payments, utilities, and probably, social media sites. Now. Many sites are getting fixes. Sadly, when fixes are complete, you will have to do this again, and change all of the rest of your passwords too.

2. Use hard-to-crack passwords. See Best Passwords Ever.

3. Sign up for a password manager like Dashlane, LastPass or KeyPass, which will store all your passwords in one place. A manager can speed up the time it takes to generate new passwords with a password generator. Protect your account with a long, goofy password that you can remember, and can’t be cracked. Memorize the password, and store it offline.

4. ┬áTake advantage of two-step sign-in whenever it’s offered. Google offers it. So does WordPress.

5. Check to see if sites you deal frequently with have had their bleeding hearts fixed by going to this site put out by Bruce Schneier: http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/

Good luck!

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6 thoughts on “Tech for Troglodytes: What to do about the Heartbleed Bug

    • I have a love-hate relationship with the password manager. Takes a long time to set up; but then works amazingly well, and passwords are no longer a bugaboo; but then something has to be changed, and it’s another huge project.

      Yes, the world is more difficult to navigate, especially for cave women like me.

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    • Hope all is straightened out again. The Internet seems so reassuringly easy, and then BAM. A worm finds its way into your most private information, and there you are, exposed and helpless. Good luck!

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  1. We’ve had our credit cards hacked a couple of times and I’m convinced it’s from using my phone in insecure places. Now I wait to check stats, comments, etc. I think it’s a good heads up for everyone to change passwords on a regular basis.
    Thanks for bringing this to the party! Don’t forget to DANCE!

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  2. You’re right, it’s better to discipline yourself to wait until you’re in a safe place before going on line, but it’s hard sometimes!

    Turning on the dance music now. Starting with Michael Franti’s Sweet Little Lies.

    Like

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