co What To Do About Heartbleed |

Last week, several Internet companies reported an “encryption flaw” affecting their servers and cautioned users to change their passwords. The flaw, called Heartbleed, is the largest of its kind to affect the Internet ever. Sites and services that have confirmed being affected by the bug include:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Google
  • Yahoo!
  • Gmail
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Etsy
  • GoDaddy
  • Flickr
  • Minecraft
  • Netflix
  • SoundCloud
  • YouTube
  • USAA
  • Dropbox
  • Wikipedia

Sites not affected by the flaw include Twitter, Amazon (e-commerce store), Evernote, Hulu, PayPal, Groupon, eBay, Hotmail, and LinkedIn. It’s unclear whether or not Facebook or WordPress were affected. Members of these sites are encouraged to change their passwords any way, just to be on the safe side.

The fact that some of the Web’s largest websites were affected by the encryption flaw does not mean that users of those services had their private information compromised. It does, however, mean, that your information is in danger and should be protected by a password change.

Experts in Internet security recommend that passwords be changed once a year. This seems reasonable. Hackers and other nefarious characters are always on the search for ways to gain access to people’s personal and private information.

Staying a step ahead of hackers and would-be identity thieves is essential if we all want to make the best use of the World Wide Web.

If you’re concerned about your Internet security, and you should be, check out Mashable’s list of passwords you need to change right now.