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For all those in the technology world, Heartbleed ranks as the most commonly debated term for over a month, making them go frenzy about an immediate password change. Giving new dimensions for the security concerns, discussions on heartbleed still lingers in every possible corners of the cyber space. To all those who are still not clear about what heartbleed is, it is a bug that can cause severe security problems across the internet. The bug can hit all those systems that use the openSSL software package to ensure data security. Being used by most banks, e-shoping portals, email providers and social media sites, the bug poses a serious concern to all internet users worldwide. As the security expert Bruce Schneier puts it right in his blog, the bug is "catastrophic" such that "on a scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11." OpenSSL is very much crucial in ensuring data security to all the services carried out through internet by protecting third party access of critical information. This may range from your user name, passwords, your account transactions, card numbers and any other confidential information. A major flaw in this software package called heartbleed now lets any hacker access these vital information with ease. The warnings and alerts circulated via media has been so viral that almost all banks and major companies have taken immediate measures to ensure data security. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Instagram and Tumblr have already issued statements regarding their actions on heartbleed and have also asked vulnerable users to change their password specifically.


Now the biggest question is, what can the user do to protect their critical data from being accessed by third parties. The fact is that the issue, being very much technical, is to be handled by the service providers. It is true that there has been many warnings in the social media prompting the users to immediately change their passwords. But, such a password change would be effective only if the service provider has taken adequate measures to fix the heartbleed bug. The bug can be easily fixed at the provider's end, by updating their security systems and certificates. Else, chances are that your new password can also be easily hacked by the bug. It is always better to resort to a password change if you are specifically directed to do so by the service provider. With a lot of misinformation about heartbleed in the air, it is important for you to rely on the guidelines provided by your service provider. Just in case you are asked to change the password, stick on to the primary rule of creating absolutely unique password for every service that you use. Use a string of characters and odd punctuations that are difficult for algorithms to identify. Thanks to this hype on heartbleed, the systems all over the world are now on high security alerts. For an average internet user, the tip remains simple: follow the instructions that the provider gives you and stay calm.



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