Are You Really Safe on the Internet? Part 2

Post 45 of 109

During the past couple of weeks, you probably heard about a little thing called Heartbleed.  Whether you are familiar or not, this little word has the potential to cause major problems across the Internet…

 Heartbleed

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Credit: Codenomicon

So, Friday evening after my visiting family members had all gone home, I spent a “leisurely” evening changing all of my website passwords.

Why would anyone be so crazy as to spend hours doing something like this?

It was an attempt to protect myself against Heartbleed, a security bug that has been identified across approximately two-thirds of all websites.

This article and this video both give good explanations of the bug.

But in a nutshell, it is a flaw in the encryption process of security system OpenSSL, upon which a great deal of the Internet is built.

This flaw allows strangers to steal your most private information, including user names and passwords.

And obviously, once that information is accessed, your financial and other delicate information isn’t far behind…

At this point, most of the popular sites on the web have installed a patch that eliminates the vulnerability but that doesn’t mean that information wasn’t obtained in the past two years since Heartbleed was discovered.

Hence, the changing of my myriad of passwords!

This all got me thinking, doesn’t there have to be a better way to stay safe???

Almost a year ago, I wrote another post about Internet security and it seems like things just keep getting more questionable.

Between the NSA spying on American civilians and major Internet bugs like Heartbleed, it seems we aren’t safe anywhere.

But there is the possibility of a light at the end of the tunnel.

For those of you who have the iPhone 5s, you may already be used to Touch ID.

And Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 was also just introduced with a fingerprint reader, but this one logs you in directly to PayPal and a variety of other websites as well!

Apparently, other big companies, like Microsoft and Google, are developing alternatives to the password as well.

And as of July 2015, all smartphones would be required to feature a “kill switch” that would allow remote disabling and wiping of the phone if it is stolen.

So, are you ready to move away from the ubiquitous password?  And, do you think these alternatives would make a difference in terms of the security of our personal data?

As always, tell us what you think in the comments below…

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