Schools are known for being notoriously understaffed in their IT departments. Probably the last area any school IT department considers adding staff to is IT security. Staffing IT security in schools is an afterthought. But now everyone reading this should be very concerned about online security and needs to take securing their online identities into their own hands. This past week with the revelation of heartbleed, a bug in the widely used Open SSL, used to encrypt and secure thousands of well known web sites, all of us have potentially had many of our passwords compromised.
So whether we have school IT security staff or not, it is up to all of us students, staff, and IT to proactively start changing our passwords for affected sites. But it’s not quite that simple. You must change the password only after the affected site has patched their servers to fix heartbleed. How do you know which sites are affected and have been patched? Check this list at CNET. Or better yet, run a live check on a server yourself at LastPass. This is a good time to start using complex and unique passwords to protect your online identity and to consider using a password manager to remember them all. Stay safe online!
This blog is cross posted at Technology and Learning