WICHITA, Kansas – – So far this year, there have been 223 security breaches affecting more than five million people.
The latest breach, called the Heartbleed bug is being considered bigger than all the others combined.
This bug has affected nearly two-thirds of the websites in the entire world, after going unnoticed for two years.
The bug has exposed millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information that could potentially be used by computer hackers.
The bug attacks the openSSL, which is considered the industry standard for encryption that many major websites use.
The openSSL is suppose to protect your information when you log on to a site from being used by anyone else, without the users permission.
David Hensley, the CEO of Disciple Technologies, says this breach is different than most because it attacked the one thing that is meant to protect us, as users.
“This is a pretty big and pretty serious breach in the online security encryption code that is being used by a lot of companies right now,” said Hensley.
While many of the websites are trying to use patches to stop the hole that was created by the bug.
While it is unknown at this time what exactly has been compromised, Hensley says going forward there is one main way that people can protect themselves.
“I would recommend changing your password at least once a year, twice or four times a year depending on what you’re doing with it and how often you use it,” said Hensley.
Hensley adds that varying your password from account to account is also a wise practice.
“You can use special characters like a question mark or exclamation mark, something to kind of throw it off,” said Hensley.
With hackers executing hundreds of breaches this year alone, Hensley says ultimately it will be hard to stop people from being able to break through seemingly secure places.
Hensley does say though that is best to be mindful of what your browse and on the lookout for anything that seem suspicious.
“Be pro-active about what websites you’re clicking on, what links you’re clicking on, what emails you’re clicking on and if you click on something and you can’t identify what it is, you should change your password again,” said Hensley.
An app called LastPass has launched a tool that will allow users to find out if sites they’ve used have been affected by the bug.
You can learn more about the app, as well as download it, by visiting the LastPass homepage.
Also, there are security features you can put on your computer to try and protect against breaches like this.
Tools, like Lifelock, won’t necessarily prevent you from being hacked, but will be able to stop the hacker from getting further along in the process than they normally would.
For more information on this service, you can visit Lifelock homepage.