An encryption flaw called the “Heartbleed Bug” is already being called one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen. The bug has affected many popular websites and services, some of which we might use every day (Facebook and Gmail) — and could have quietly exposed your sensitive account information (such as passwords and credit card numbers) over the past two years. Heartbleed is believed to have affected approximately 66% of the internet.
Some Internet companies that were vulnerable to the bug have already updated their servers with a security patch to fix the issue. This means you’ll need to go out and update your passwords immediately. However, even that is not a guarantee that things within your account have not already been compromised but there’s also no indication that hackers knew about the exploit before this week. The companies that are advising customers to change their passwords are doing so as a precautionary measure.
Although changing your password regularly is always good practice, if a site or service hasn’t yet patched the problem, your information will still be vulnerable. Not to worry though, Apple has released a statement that iOS, OS X and key web services were unaffected by the widely publicized security flaw – Heartbleed.