News of the recent Heartbleed bug threat is barely a week old and it’s amazing what actions have already been taken to protect consumers against the vulnerability. The biggest questions right now are:
Many of us felt helpless because while we were informed to change our passwords, at the same time, we were told that wouldn’t make any difference if the sites hadn’t patched the vulnerability. The good news is most sites quickly worked to repair the patch to make the site secure again so changing your passwords is a great idea now, even if the site in question was not reported as being affected by Heartbleed.
Free LastPass App Provides Security & Warnings
LastPass is a free app that provides complete, secure password storage and it goes steps beyond just storing passwords with helping you create secure passwords; it also informs users of potential or actual security breaches to help protect your accounts. I recently signed up and immediately was notified of security breaches in my Google accounts that I was able to fix easily.
It installs to your browser (mine’s been working great in Chrome) and you can also download a desktop launcher for easy access.
Additionally, LastPass shows which of the sites I use were affected by the Heartbleed bug and whether my account is secure or not.
LastPass is a great option for those who are unsure of whether their passwords are strong as well as those who have trouble remembering all of their passwords.
- Change your passwords frequently (every 60-90 days)
- Use different passwords for different sites rather than the same password for multiple sites
- Include upper & lowercase letters, as well and numbers and symbols in your passwords
- Avoid passwords like these
- If you have trouble remembering passwords, use numbers or symbols in lieu of letters, i.e. p@$$w0rd instead of password