I’m going to put my IT hat on here because this news needs to get spread as quickly as possible.
You may have heard in the news today and yesterday about the “HeartBleed” vulnerability that may be infecting services you use for your online banking and purchasing activities. This is a serious problem.
The bug affects banks, big email systems like Yahoo! and some of the biggest online retailers such as Amazon. It’s safe to say that all of them are racing to fix the vulnerability. Hackers will be racing to intercept your transactions before they’re locked out, too. Until the legitimate services get this fixed, your personal information, passwords and private records are at risk of being stolen.
In the meantime, there isn’t a lot we can do, other than avoid online transactions until you’re sure your bank or retailer has fixed the problem on their servers. By Thursday or Friday most should have done so. I just checked Amazon and they seem to have already gotten it done.
Once they have– and you can check at the first link below–you should go to each one and change your password, on the assumption that the hackers might have stolen the old one some time in the past before the problem was discovered.