The thing we who use the Internet fear most, has finally happened. It’s name is Heartbleed. For the past two years, online security on websites most of us use every day has not been what it should have been. And that means there may be sites where you’re provided your credit card or other valuable information, and now that information is sitting out there, somewhere, waiting to be plucked. Like a goose.
Only it may be too late. This goose is cooked.
I’ve always been pretty good at making sure I only use passwords that make no sense to anyone. Sometimes that anyone is me. But I do try to take note of changes to my passwords and try not to make up a password using my Mother’s maiden name or base it on anything that’s familiar in my life. Except for that time when I got a really good deal on underwear. Buy two panties, get two free. For that website I used the password “free knickers” and as the term “knickers” is only used in Britain, I think I’m good. Of course, I know how your minds work so I’ll be changing that password as soon as this post is posted.
How far should you go to protect your online identity? It depends on how you use the Internet and how closely you want to guard your privacy. If you’re anything like me, you go as far as you can without driving your partner completely insane.
When my Mister told me about Heartbleed, my mind went [blank] for what felt like a lifetime as my brain started to process all the website I’ve signed up to or given private information to over the past two years. But I quickly calmed down when I realized there were actually only a few sites that had credit card information and that I’d had very few purchases on record over the last two years.
I still went and changed my passwords on those accounts along with my Gmail email and all my banking information.
But then I thought…did I change my passwords too soon? Should I have waited for a news report saying that Heartbleed was no longer a threat? That the bleeding had stopped and the sutures were holding tight? Because maybe this is all a hoax and the hackers want us to drop what we’re doing and change our passwords so they had fresh new information to work with?
Wait while I scratch the hives that just appeared after properly processing that thought.
Is there anyone else out there who feels that our Internet security should not be solely in the hands of four programmers who live in Wales? That perhaps companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and any other online retailer who uses OpenSSL should have opened up their wallets long ago and either paid for more support, or joined in together to fund the development of a new form of online security coding?
Everyone who uses the Internet and who expects to process transactions in a secure environment should be willing to drop a couple of bucks into the pot. I know I would and so should we all. We can’t keep expecting someone else to cover our asses. It’s our ass.
We should be the ones to decide if we want to protect our privacy with thongs or granny panties.
From now on, when I’m online, I’ll be wearing my old lady underwear. And that includes now. And yes, they are white, cotton, and lace-free.
(Author’s Note: I’m currently in south Georgia and today the Mister and I are going on a swamp tour. If I survive the alligators and biting bugs, I’ll reply to comments late in the day. Now get voting!)