The “Heartbleed bug” is a flaw in the OpenSSL encryption standard that is used by half a million websites which was uncovered on April 7. Most websites that require a password to access use OpenSSL encryption to “scramble” the data transferred between your computer and the website’s server. OpenSSL has since been patched and millions of websites – many that you likely use – are being updated and new encryption certificates and keys are being issued.
So what does this all mean for the average computer user?
Though it’s unclear at this time if the flaw was exploited on any of the websites you use, you should change your passwords soon. Here is a website that you can use to check to see if the websites that you use were impacted by the bug, and if it is now safe to change your password: Check to see if websites that you use were vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug: https://lastpass.com/heartbleed.
Now is a great time to implement a password system that makes your passwords secure, different for every site, yet easy to remember. See How to change your email password.
More Heartbleed information: