Interactive Radar: Track Storms

Heartbleed Putting Online Security At Risk

(Memphis) The name says it all; the computer problem called Heartbleed is likely sucking the life out of your online security.

At least two out of every three websites you visit are at risk because of the mistake website creators made.

The mishmash of letters, numbers and asterisks you see on computers is basically a language all its own, and most of us know it as computer code.

Code writers actually made mistakes while creating the language that keeps your information secret.

Computer experts say this exposed passwords and other secret information of millions of internet users.

They’re calling the mistake Heartbleed because of the damage it can cause.

“66% of the websites out there today use the open SSL encryption. With that being said that doesn’t include emails services or the apps you use,” said WREG Broadcast Automations Engineer Milton Byrd.

Byrd is a computer expert and one of our go to guys when we face internet problems.

He says companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other big named sites including banks are affected.

There is one thing you can do to protect yourself and your identity from being stolen.

“To protect yourself what you will want to do is frequently change your password. Don’t use passwords like password or I love you or your baby’s name,” said Byrd.

Byrd says it’s best to use passwords with a combination of letters and numbers and even punctuation.

He says this will constantly update your wall of protection.

Most major companies suggest waiting until the weekend to change your passwords because it could take a couple of days to fix the problem.

If you change your password before sites are fixed, hackers can still get your information.

The security flaw may seem like it’s only thrown a kink in the internet for a couple days, but computer experts say Heartbleed may have been around for over two years and we never even knew about it.

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