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Heartbleed is a very cool name for a very nasty Internet bug that has companies with a presence on the World Wide Web scrambling to patch their websites to protect their users against this real threat to their security. The scary thing with this nasty bug is that it has been around for a long time. It was only made public this week. On April 9, The Los Angeles Times reported on Heartbleed and its impact on users.

What is Heartbleed? It is an Internet bug that impacts OpenSSL, and it has been around for about two years. With this bug, private information is not safe. Hackers can use this security flaw to access user information, and this includes passwords. Your information could have been stolen by someone using this flaw to hack a website. In a time when so many are worried about their information being protected, this has only caused new concerns. Anyone remember the Target data breach over the holidays? This is another instance that makes one wonder about the safety of their information.

The Heartbleed bug was discovered recently by Codenomicon. The person that found it worked with both this organization and Google Inc. Google went to work in creating a patch for this bug, and that patch was released on Monday. However, it might have been too late. News of the bug spread after Tumblr notified users it had been infected. The site urged users to change their passwords. Tumblr is owned by Yahoo, and it is an online blogging service.

David Chartier, the CEO of Codenomicon, told International Business Times that it will take some time for all websites to be patched. During this time, it will be possible that Heartbleed could cause a major data breach. User information will be vulnerable until sites are patched. Many have already done so, but others are still hard at work patching their sites against this bug. Cnet did share the security of several popular websites. This includes Google, Yahoo, and others. They are now safe. While the sites might be patched now, it is still best to change your passwords.

In a world where technology is making it easier and easier to sign online and work via the Internet, safety and keeping your information secure is a priority. However, hackers will find anyway they can to steal your information. What do you think? Have you changed your passwords this week?

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