Heartbleed  is a name that you may have seen in the news for a recently discovered flaw in OpenSSL, the open-source encryption technology used by approximately 66% of today’s websites.

This flaw could allow hackers to gain access to passwords and other sensitive data that was previously thought to be protected by SSL (secure socket layer) encryption.

Tips to protect your personal information from Heartbleed

Confirm that any vendor or service you rely on has:

• Installed the updated version of the OpenSSL software
• Revoked all current SSL certificates
• Regenerated all SSL privacy keys
• Obtained new SSL certificates

Once you see an official announcement from a website or service you rely on that these steps have been completed, you should update your password. Marathon has already updated all of our clients’ information.

Other Ways to Protect Yourself Online

Monitor sensitive online accounts. Even after Heartbleed fades away, it’s smart to pay close attention for any suspicious activity in online banking accounts. Immediately reporting unusual financial activity is the best way to minimize the negative impact of fraud.

Use strong passwords. Make sure to use capital letters, numbers and special characters when you can. You should avoid using personal information like your birthday or names of loved ones. You should also avoid using the same password across multiple sites.

Consider a password manager. There are a number of different password managers that make it easy to use a unique password on each site you visit. KeePass is a free program that is easy to set up and maintain.

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