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I’m Confused.com: What is the Heartbleed bug?

One thing confusing the nation during April was the hullaballo regarding the Heartbleed virus.

So what is it? And how might it affect you?

Representation of the Heartbleed bug security threat

What is Heartbleed?

The Heartbleed bug has compromised some very well-known websites and services.

It basically affects a system of encryption called SSL (specifically OpenSSL), which is used by many sites in an effort to make transactions secure.

The bug has allowed the security layer to be exploited, and those responsible have been gathering private and sensitive information over the course of two years. Snooping, essentially.

How does it affect you?

Several high-profile sites use OpenSSL as part of their security, so it’s smart to change your password on these sites.

Though it’s unclear as to whether some have definitely been affected, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Some notable sites it’s recommended you change your password for include:

  • Google (including Gmail and other services)
  • Yahoo
  • Facebook
  • Netflix
  • YouTube
  • Minecraft
  • Tumblr

For a full list, you can find a full list of which passwords you need to change on the tech website Mashable.

Other security breaches

As much as companies try their best to keep customers’ data secure, breaches will sometimes happen, and hackers will hack. 

But what have been the biggest ever incidents where customers’ data has been exposed?

Check out this interactive graphic on data design website Information is Beautiful, which shows the world’s biggest data breaches.

Is anything making you Confused.com? Let us know on Twitter:

Tweet @Confused_com

Have you ever been hacked, or the victim of a security breach?

Maybe you keep your data safe by squirreling it all under your bed?

Please feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.




Confused.com Compendium of confusion leaderboard April 2014 edition

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Owe Carter

Owe Carter

Owe Carter has been a consumer interest writer for Confused.com since 2007. His career as a scribe began in local press, which saw him hunting ghosts, taking challenges from readers, living as B.A. Baracus for a week, and seeking out Pembrokeshire’s happiest dog.

Twitter: @ConfusedOwe
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