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The Bash Bug is here and it is apparently way worse than Heartbleed was. This bug leaves most operating systems wide open to hackers who want to steal your personal information, and has been around so long that it might take quite a while to patch everything. It’s so bad, it even affects Mac OS X users, which are usually pretty safe from hackers. The bug could affect everything from computers to smartphones to connected devices like smart thermostats or refrigerators. So how do you protect your identity? Here are three things you can do:
The tech world is already abuzz with the Bash Bug, so many companies are already issuing patches for their operating software. If you get a notification to update your software, do it. Many of the recently releases patches have had limited success, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you get a notification about a patch, first make sure you can verify that it is from the correct company (Apple, HP, etc.), and then follow the instructions to download it. Many companies are adding patches on their end, but if you need to install a patch yourself, make sure you do it. There is no such thing as too much protection.
One of the best things you can do is to keep your password updated. Change it every couple days if you can, or at least once a week, until software companies have manufactured better patches for the bug. Make sure to use a long string of letters and numbers. The more random the better. The harder it is for the hackers to crack your password, the safer your information will be. Also, it might be a good idea to back up all your information on an external hard drive, just in case.
One of the most horrible parts of being hacked is having your financial information stolen. If hackers can access your credit cards or bank accounts, or even open up credit accounts in your name, your finances could be wrecked. How can you avoid that happening? You can’t really, but if you stay on top of it, you can minimize the damage. Here are some tips to recognize identity theft as it’s happening: