The Heart Bleed Bug – at the heart of current security worries

by | May 9, 2017 | Uncategorised

The Heart Bleed Bug – at the heart of current security worries.


You have probably heard about the latest IT security scandal to hit the media in the form of the Heartbleed Bug? You may have even read up about it because you were concerned about the safety of your business or personal data.

If you don’t know what the Heartbleed Bug is or whether your data is at risk, read on for some useful information and resources to help you understand the effects and how to protect yourself.

What is the Heartbleed Bug?

The technical definition is that the Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic software library (description courtesy of Essentially what this means is, the information normally protected by the encryption used to secure the internet can be viewed and stolen. This includes personal and business details and financial information, it allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from services and users, and to impersonate services and users, so it’s important to ensure that your secure your business and personal data against any threat posed.

If you want to find out more about the Heartbleed bug visit for more information.

Will I be affected?

The scope of the websites affected by the Heartbleed Bug is unclear at time of writing this blog, but it has hit well-known social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. LinkedIn and Twitter have so far been unaffected. Other well know names that have been affected include Google and Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Etsy, and Go Daddy.

Mashable has published a very helpful list of popular websites and services and includes details about whether they have been affected and, if so, whether the problem has been resolved. You can access this information here.

What do I need to do to protect my data?

There are steps that you can take to protect your data but the operators of the websites and services affected need to take some action their end first. Fixed OpenSSL has been released and will need to be implemented.

Now you know which sites are likely to be affected you need to monitor them until they confirm that they have resolved the issue. Once this has been confirmed, you can go ahead and change the password to your account. Changing your password before the website or service has applied a fix their end won’t protect your data because the Heartbleed Bug will still be active.

Beware of hackers – If you receive an email which asks you to change your password by clicking on a link or button embedded in the email then, to be safe, exit the email and visit the site in question directly. You can use the website or services online password reset option to change your password and keep your account safe. This will ensure that your password change is genuine and projects your data from hackers.

If you are still concerned about the safety of your data then you can check the website you are worried about using the LastPass Heartbleed Checker. Click here to check any websites you are concerned about.

About Ilkley IT Services

Ilkley IT services have been providing local businesses and home users in the Wharfedale area with reliable and cost effective IT and computer support since 2005. Our aim is to ensure that you IT systems perform to the highest standards possible through our call out and support contract services.

We also offer online data backup, antivirus and Microsoft Cloud Email set up and support.

Over 95% of our new business comes via recommendation and we are proud of our client list which includes big and small businesses alike.

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