Internet Explorer bug

SECURITY ALERT: How To Fix the Internet Explorer Bug and Heartbleed

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.)

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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.

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Last Pass Heartbleed

Last Pass is my new password protection service. I'm using it to generate super-strong unique passwords for every website. In the face of the improving abilities of hackers, this is necessary to keep from forgetting passwords. Just set a very strong master password AND REMEMBER IT. The only drawback is that you can end up being unable to retrieve your passwords if you forget your master password.

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.

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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.)

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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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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere