I spent a good part of my Saturday changing passwords of a lot of my online accounts – Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.
Why, you ask?
Well, if you haven’t heard about the dreaded HeartBleed, you can head on over to this article from BBC News – “Heartbleed bug: What you need to know“ – and read up on everything that you need to know about it.
But to make the story short, it is “a major security flaw at the heart of the internet may have been exposing users’ personal information and passwords to hackers for the past two years.”
Security expert Bruce Schneier described it as “catastrophic”. He said: “On the scale of one to 10, this is an 11.” (BBC News)
I’m not going to go into technical details as the article above pretty much explained everything, so the point is, it is imperative to change your passwords NOW.
Do I REALLY have to change my passwords?
I know. I whined that same thought. But like what my friend Kiven said to me, unless you don’t mind a possible breach, then you don’t have to.
But for people like me who have heavily invested a lot of time and money on online estates, you really just have to.
You don’t necessarily have to change ALL of your passwords as there are some sites that are not affected. To check a site if it is vulnerable to Heartbleed, you can use the LastPass Heartbleed Checker.
It is also useless to change the password of an account unless the site has updated and patched their network. To check which sites have applied a fix, you can head on here – The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now.
Now, let’s get to the more important matter – changing passwords.
In this day and age, having a universal password – same passwords – for all your accounts is a big NO-NO.
Having strong passwords like sf56TGhYuIU043 is really the way to go.
But imagine having 20+ accounts. Remembering a unique password of that kind is close to impossible unless you have a photographic memory!
Fortunately, there are these apps or softwares called password managers that can help a user organize his or her passwords.
There are a lot of password managers out in the market, but I personally use 1Password.
I have been using 1Password for over a year now and I have to say that it’s one application I cannot live without. I need to have it installed on all my devices.
The full price of 1Password is $50 for a single-license but because of the issue with Heartbleed, 1Password is now on sale for $25.
It might seem expensive but it’s really worth it.
The best thing I love about 1Password is that it syncs with all my devices (iPhone, iPad, iMac and MacBook Air) so I don’t have to worry about being unable to access any of my accounts on any device.
So, geeks, before the week ends, do try to update all your passwords! It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Have a great weekend!