The Heartbleed bug is now one of the latest security issues facing millions of users. Individuals are now being instructed to change their passwords in the midst of this new bug. The Heartbleed bug penetrates the Secure Sockets Layer (or SSL) of open-source software. The bug puts many users’ passwords and other private information at risk.
The Heartbleed bug has affected many unsuspecting users. Millions of Internet users rely on OpenSSL technologies to conduct everyday transactions from opening emails to reviewing banking information. OpenSSL is run on over two-thirds of sites across the web. Experts believe that most users are affected directly or indirectly by the security breach and recommend that individuals change their login credentials. While major sites that rely on OpenSSL have changes their SSL certificates to better protect consumers, an estimated 500,000 companies have not taken any steps to update their certificates, leaving many consumers vulnerable.
Many consumers simply don’t follow these trends. Consumers are more likely to be unaware of major bugs like these until time a significant amount of time has lapsed. According to research, only 23 percent of people have even checked to see if their information was affected. An estimated 77 percent have not even checked to see if their accounts have been affected. Approximately 38 percent of individuals have changed their passwords in response to the breach. Thirty-four percent of people have even heard of the breach.
Common sites affected by Heartbleed bug
How consumers are protecting themselves
Individuals now have access to tools to improve their email security. One such tool is email encryption. Users who rely on services like Open PGP were unaffected by the Heartbleed bug. Email encryption services are designed to protect content from being accessed by anyone but the named recipient.
How do Open PGP and email encryption services work?
Email encryption requires authentication of every email message sent. The solution protects against unauthorized access of email content. While the average consumer is too busy to keep up with the latest breaches and security challenges they face, a one-time solution like email encryption is something the everyday user can implement. An Open PGP plugin like gpg4o can be quickly set up. Don’t worry about piracy with email encryption. Email encryption services protect individuals from security issues like the Heartbleed bug before major companies have had time to respond to such potential security threats.