May 14th, 2014 12:49 PM by Jackie A. Graves, President
What is the Heartbleed Bug?
is a flaw in the programming on secure websites that could put your personal
information at risk, including passwords, credit card information and e-mails.
The Heartbleed Bug is a defect in encryption technology – called Open SSL –
used by most Web servers to secure users’ personal or financial information. It
is behind many “https” sites that collect personal or financial information.
it provides a secure connection when you are conducting a transaction or
sending an e-mail online. Experts discovered the bug recently and warned that
cybercriminals could exploit it to access visitors' personal data or to
impersonate a website and collect even more information.
Am I affected?
active users of the Internet have likely been exposed, since a majority of
websites – including Facebook, retail and even government sites – use the Open
SSL software. But it is unknown whether any criminals have actually exploited
the bug, and several major sites, like Amazon, have already installed patches.
Most sites with an address beginning with “https” are vulnerable until the
website operator fixes the bug and users change their passwords.
Is my bank account safe?
consumers are always protected from any unauthorized transactions. Let the bank
know immediately if you suspect any unusual activity.
are monitoring your accounts. They use many different systems to protect
customers’ information including rigorous security standards, encryption, and
fraud detection software.
What can I do?
always, it is a good idea to update your bank password every few months. Also,
monitor your account regularly and report suspicious transactions to the bank
immediately. Beware of phishing scams – or e-mails with malicious links – that will
attempt to get additional sensitive information from you.
What are banks doing?
researching the possible impact of the Heartbleed Bug and are taking
appropriate actions to ensure that it has no impact on their customers. Most
Internet banking applications are not impacted by this bug. Most financial institutions
have a special layer of security that prevents this type of exploit and
don’t use Open SSL at all.