Picture2First identified on Monday, April 8 it is just now becoming clear how widespread the Heartbleed Bug is. It attacks through the internet so any device you use to access secure sites is vulnerable. That’s the first new twist, it attacks SECURE sites.  That means banking, email, Facebook, Twitter just to name a few.

The second new twist here is that it also affects routers, switches and firewalls used in businesses and at home. The Heartbleed Bug could use them to affect every device connected to them.

Experts believe this bug has gone undetected for the last 2 years.  It is difficult to detect.  However, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.  Here are 3 steps you can take now.

1.  Change passwords that you’ve been using on any secure site for the last 2 years (banking, Amazon, email, PayPal, etc. – anything with https:// in front).  Most of these sites have already patched their security so going forward those sites should be safe.  BUT, if you signed on in the last 2 years, the bad guys may already have your passwords – so CHANGE THEM.

2.  Make sure you have a good anti-virus.  If it’s free you are probably getting what you’re paying for.  We recommend Symantec Enterprise (for business) or Norton Internet Security (home).

3.  Upgrade or change your firewall and/or router.  Home and business.  This is more difficult and should be done by your IT pro – they should be on top of it.  The firmware must be upgraded (most manufacturers of business-class firewalls/routers have firmware upgrades available for current models).  If you purchase a new firewall today, you’ll end up with one manufactured before the bug was found (Monday 4/8/14) and that firmware will also have to be upgraded.

As I get more information I’ll pass it on.  Until then, if you have any other questions or you’d like our assistance, email me or call us at 508-543-5540.  As always, we’d be happy to help in any way we can.