Heartbleed - What to do now?

IT support Kitchener computer services Guelph Heartbleed bug

By: Stephanie Petrashko

The "Heartbleed" security vulnerability has received significant mainstream and tech press over the past few days.  It seems that almost every week there is another reason to feel less secure about your online activities.   It's enough to make you want to just unplug everything and go live a hermit lifestyle.  Unfortunately, as appealing as that may sound, there's no going back.   Our interconnected world is here to stay and so are the malcontents (and governments) who are determined to exploit any and every opportunity to spy on us or steal our hard-earned dollars. 

So, aside from powering off every connected device you own, what to do?   It all boils down to the same old thing... passwords.   Nearly every exploit can be blocked or avoided by having good passwords that are changed regularly.   Here are three simple steps:

a) Pick hard-to-guess passwords -> uses phrases with mixed characters,

b) Change your passwords - including those for online services like banking - regularly,

c) Don't use the same passwords for multiple systems.

Do these things regularly and you can sleep well at night.   Since you're going to go change your passwords now anyway, this information doesn't matter but, if you're curious, here's a good list of which sites you may want to prioritze when changing your passwords: