Two important security issues loom over computer users right now. Take steps to solve these problems NOW. No excuses, tell everyone. These two security risks are THAT important.
1 – Internet Explorer Bug
Experts discovered a bug that allows a hacker to remote control your computer when you’re on Microsoft Internet Explorer(IE). Even if you don't use IE, you should still install the patch. (This impacts Windows XP, Windows 7 AND Windows 8.)
Go to Programs and Windows Update. In Windows 8, go to the Start screen and type “Windows Update.” Run the “Security Update for Internet Explorer” or install the newest version of IE. (Shown in the picture.)
RECOMMENDATION: Use Chrome or Firefox As Your Primary Web Browser
As part of the Windows operating system, IE gives more access to your computer than other web browsers. Your computer becomes easier to hack. Using IE to access the Internet is like playing football without a helmet – hackers can directly access to your computer's brain. Fix the bug but use Google Chrome or Firefox instead for an extra layer of protection from future security glitches.
2 – Heartbleed Bug
The Heartbleed bug infects the security that underlies encryption for websites called “SSL certificates.” While not every secure site is affected, you can install a Chrome add in to see if your online financial services or stores are safe. Because of the bug, many passwords are now compromised.
With the massive numbers of passwords recently stolen, hackers ferreted out the patterns for how we set our passwords. They can now crack most passwords in hours if not minutes.
RECOMMENDATION: Change Your Passwords; Get a Password Manager Service
To be safe, go change your passwords. But what a pain! To simplify, create a LastPass account and use the password generation feature for unique, uncrackable passwords for every website. LastPass is safe and convenient. (It does take time to learn.)
Tell Everyone and Help Them Be Safe
Technology is here to stay. If you are smart enough to fill out forms our government has us complete, you are smart enough to download software and setup a password service. You can do this! The way I look at it, when I protect my passwords and patch my computer, I'm protecting my family.
Tell everyone you know.
Note to readers: This article is intended to simplify for a general audience. I've linked to the detailed technical resources that you can use to more deeply understand these two important issues.
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