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Heartbleed: How To Protect Yourself From Data Exposure - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Heartbleed: How To Protect Yourself From Data Exposure

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Scams and viruses that threaten our personal information are scary, but experts are saying a bug called Heartbleed is much different and could be much more dangerous. Heartbleed is a recently discovered serious bug that exposes information on the internet that should be protected.

The frightening thing is there's not much you can do to stop it. "As many as 2/3 of servers have been potentially compromised," says Sam Stutsman, an Android Software Engineer.

Heartbleed is a flaw that allows anyone on the internet to read the memory of systems protected by software called open SSL. 

"It's recently discovered, so it could be exploited to basically access any information," says Stutsman.

There have not been any problems reported yet, but emails, usernames, passwords, and communication are all at risk.

"With something as big as this, it's crucial that it's fixed as quickly as possible because everything can be accessed," says Stutsman.

In order to fix the bug, websites need to upgrade to a patch.

"The website you do have passwords and important information on, they need to confirm with you they have updated to this patch," says Stutsman.

"I think that it's good to change your password every few months just to be cautious," says Chris Ellefson, who uses the internet frequently.

After hearing about Heartbleed your first reaction might be to change you passwords. But if the website you are using has not updated to the patch, changing your password is useless.

"Generally there is going to be some sort of update or information blog or just a pop up that says they have done this and now is a safe time to reset your password," says Stutsman.

If you want to be safe, a website will tell you if a website has upgraded the patch. Log on to www.lastpass.com/heartbleed.

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