There have been many pieces of information circulating via media and e-mail over the past couple of weeks.  I want to make sure you have accurate information to keep yourself safe on the Internet. 
 
1.     HEARTBLEED BUG
 
You may have heard of the bug “Heartbleed” that has hit almost 500,000 web servers.  This has left people all across the Web vulnerable to having their passwords and other sensitive data stolen.
Several major sites have recently admitted they were affected by Heartbleed, including:
·         Facebook
·         Instagram
·         Tumblr
·         Gmail
·         Google
·         Yahoo
·         Yahoo mail
·         Dropbox
·         GoDaddy
·         LastPass
·         Intuit(Turbo Tax)
·         USAA
·         SoundCloud
 
More complete list of websites are listed in the link below if they are vulnerable and require users to change their passwords here:  http://mashable.com/2014/04/09/heartbleed-bug-websites-affected/
If you have an account with any of the above websites or any on the vulnerable list cited in the article, CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD IMMEDIATELY!!!    It is best that you go to the website and change the password. Even if you receive an email that looks legitimate from the website that includes a link to change the password, this might be a scam.  Just to be on the safe side, go to the website and change the password. 
 
These sites have issued fixes to protect against Heartbleed.  After your password change, your data and sensitive information will be better protected.
 
2. WINDOWS XP NO LONGER SUPPORTED BY MICROSOFT
 
End of life for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 was April 8, 2014. This means that Microsoft will no longer offer technical support, updates, and security patches for Windows XP or Office 2003. If you still use a Windows XP machine and it was functioning before the end-of-support, it will still operate after; however, if you still use a Windows XP machine and you connect to the Internet from that machine, YOUR PC IS UNPROTECTED!!   In other words, you will be vulnerable to attacks and threats (harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, which can steal your personal information).   
 
Microsoft recommends that for those still using XP machines to upgrade to a recent version of windows or get a new PC.
 
If you are not certain which operating system you have on your PC, use this link to test: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/which-operating-system
 
To learn more about Windows XP end of life, read here:  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help
 
 
3. BE SAFE ONLINE!
 
With today’s digital information superhighway, it is virtually impossible to not be connected.  It is everybody’s business to take measures and precautions to be safe online, such as:
  • Make passwords complex and not regular, common phrases (combination of mixed-case letters, numbers, and symbols).
  • Do not share your passwords with others.
  • Be sure to log off from websites after usage.
  •  If using unsecured wireless in public places (e.g., Panera Bread), do not have sensitive data on the computer, or do not log into sensitive websites (e.g., banking information). 
  •  Do not leave your computer open.  If moving away from your computer, lock it.
  •  Use caution before installing anything that pops-up on screen.
  • Keep your eyes open for online scams.
 
Here is a resource site to help you remain safe online:  http://www.staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/