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Heartbleed Bug: What You Need to Know

Last week's news of the Heartbleed security flaw pushed millions of people into panic mode when they learned that the bug had potential to reveal passwords and personal information from up to two-thirds of all websites.

Almost as soon as the Heartbleed bug was detected, links circulated for websites offering detection tools to find out if a site was affected. However, according to a report in The Guardian, security consultants claim that many of those detection tools are flawed.

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Misinformation abounded online — including recommendations that people rushing to change all of their passwords before many sites had time to patch the Heartbleed bug.

While your accounts may appear intact now, it is important to keep tabs on them and all of your personal information. The most important step: Maintain different passwords for each website that has your personal information, so that a security problem at one site doesn't expose your information in other places.

Eighteen percent of online adults have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security number, credit card, or bank account information, according to a January 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center. That’s an increase from the 11 percent who reported being a victim in July 2013.

For websites that use personal information, such as banking, shopping, email and social media services, security experts recommend changing those passwords only after the sites have fixed their software or said they’re not affected. 

If you're still deciding whether to change your passwords, check out Brian Krebs' advice and Mashable's list of affected sites.

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