We all know it's a good idea to change passwords regularly...but if you're like most people, it never quite makes it to the top of the to-do list. If that is true for you, consider this week's news about the encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug, which is one of the biggest security threats we've seen, to help you move it up to the top of your list and get those passwords changed.
The Heartbleed bug has affected many popular services and websites that you probably use reguarly, like Gmail, GoDaddy, Dropbox, and Facebook. While it is true that your sensitive account information (like passwords and credit card numbers) may have been exposed already, it is still a good idea to change your passwords now.
Some popular sites, like LinkedIn and Amazon.com were not affected by the bug, but many others were. To check Mashable's list of popular banking, email, commerce, and social media sites to see which sites were affected and whether to change your passwords, click here. If you don't want to read through the list, you can check individual sites with the LastPass Heartbleed Checker.
When you're changing your passwords remember to use different passwords for each site, and to use a good combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols. To see how secure your new password is, check out How Secure Is My Password. (According to that site, my newest password would take about 12 trillion years to crack!!) And for more ideas about creating strong passwords, read Password Security: Important tips and strategies for keeping online accounts safe.
And just for the record, in case you're thinking (as I often have), "I don't have time to change my passwords!" -- I changed passwords for 13 sites, and it took me about 20 minutes. Yeah, I guess I have DO time for that...