Protecting Yourself from the Heartbleed Bug - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Protecting Yourself from the Heartbleed Bug

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Websites are racing to fix a massive security flaw known as "Heartbleed." The bug could leave users vulnerable to a sneak attack on their most private online information.

"You can grab somebody's password," John Biggs, an editor for the website Techcrunch, tells CBS News, "You can grab somebody's email address. You can grab somebody's personal data."

The flaw was found in software code called "Open SSL" which is widely used to protect people's privacy. The sites that use the open SSL are typically indicated by an icon of a lock in the browser. Even worse, experts believe the bug went undetected for more than two years.

"Somebody's equated this to leaving your door open on vacation and you don't know if anybody walked in or walked out," Biggs said.

More than half a million websites use the affected technology, so here are some tips to help keep yourself protected:

-First, experts say to change your passwords, all of them. However, each website affected must fix the bug itself, so before changing your password, check to see if the site has secured their site.

Some major sites, like Amazon and Google, say they have already done this, but you can check others at https://lastpass.com/heartbleed/.

-Experts also say to be wary of smaller websites that may take months to fix the bug.

-Finally, you should keep a close eye on your financial statements and report any suspicious activity immediately.

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