Last week, the Heartbleed bug was identified as a weakness in the OpenSSL cryptographic library, potentially leaking two-thirds of the Internet’s secure information from any websites utilizing this encryption style. While most major websites such as Google, Yahoo, and Facebook released patches quickly, it does little to actually remediate the problem. Your data could have been leaked over the year-plus that the vulnerability could have been accessed. There is no way to know if it has been compromised.
Fortunately, there is one thing you can do to protect your accounts from hackers; change your passwords. But unfortunately, you probably have too many passwords to count. Unless you use a password manager such as Lastpass, 1Password, or Roboform, you will have trouble changing them all at once. It might take you hours, maybe even days!
We Need a Holiday
Tech writer Rafe Needleman suggests we make a national holiday, National Change Your Passwords Day, where everyone can take the day to change their passwords, and improve their Internet security in general. In fact, he thinks it should be a day off from work, and paid, too. If you think about the security of the entire world’s data, it only makes sense that the data is worth a paid day off from work. You can’t put a price on the security of your entire network. If something were to happen to your data, it could be catastrophic to both your personal identity and your company.
Needleman also discusses when he thinks this holiday should be; the transition from Standard to Daylight Savings Time. Most clocks are resetting themselves these days, and that’s a whole extra hour to change your passwords. He even suggests that they be changed twice a year, during the transition from Daylight Savings Time to Standard time, as well. While changing your passwords twice every year is far better than not changing them, you should probably change your passwords at least once every month.
We Should Make That A Thing!
This wouldn’t be the first time that something like this exists. Though it isn’t a paid day off from work, there is a day reserved for backing up your data called World Backup Day. It was just last month – March 31st. We can’t stress enough how important it is for your data to be backed up somewhere. If something happens to your information and it is compromised, or if a hard drive failure occurs, your entire company’s future could go right out the window. You do not want to take your company’s future so nonchalantly.
When it comes to your personal information and data, nothing is more important. It might not be a paid day off from work, but you should still take some time to change your passwords and to backup your data. Call 305.592.5433 and Michell Consulting Group can help you with both by being your remote IT consultant. We can backup your data for you as well as monitor your systems.