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What to do about The Heartbleed Virus

There are three MAJOR things which you need to do TODAY to prevent you from headaches, identity theft, and costly expenses in the future!
 

1.  CHANGE ALL YOUR PASSWORDS!

A few weeks ago, a security breach was announced that affects about 25% of servers around the world.  This means it’s not YOUR computer, but the computer you are connecting to that you thought was secure.
It was actually discovered over 2 years ago and has been a vulnerability since 1 year before that.
To make a complicated story short, when a hacker uses a special program on a company server who uses “OpenSSL” security, it will “bleed” out other information including people’s usernames and passwords.
So, if you ever made an account at one of these popular sites, you are at risk of having your password leaked.  You can click on the underlined titles to see how to change your password on them:
  • Financial:  USAA, Canadian Revenue Service (Canadian IRS), Commonwealth Bank of Australia
That is from this easy-to-read site.  Over 1 MILLION servers were vulnerable 2 weeks ago.
The average person logs into 25 websites daily, and you could waste the day checking to see if that server was vulnerable here.
To simplify things, we suggest changing ALL your passwords TODAY. 
Use these hints:
  1. In 2007, the National Institute of Standards suggested 12 character passwords. So, 8 is OK, 12 is better.
  2. Use ALL these: upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols
  3. You can use symbols to substitute for letters (@ for A, 3 for E, and 1 for i)
  4. Add a letter or word at the end for every website, so you have 26 different passwords (so Br0nc0s!!w (for Wells Fargo), or Nugg3tz!!ebay (for Ebay))
We created  this printable Excel sheet to keep track of your passwords.  Put it in a safe place for your family to access it, should something happen to you, and they need access to your accounts.

 

While you are in there, you should CHANGE your security questions (ie. such as mother’s maiden name, place you were married) and add a second email address to contact you if you lose your password.

 

It takes about 10 minutes to change passwords on an account.  With the average of 20 passwords, this will be a time-consuming task.

 

We cannot help all our 5700 customers at once, so we encourage you to try this yourself.  Just click on the links in the list of companies above for directions.

 

If necessary, set an appointment for us to help remotely at $80/hour, but we believe with patience, you can do this yourself.  We suggest you change your passwords at least 1x a year.
2.  Stop Using Windows XP
As I’ve said for months, XP is no longer supported by Microsoft.  XP Viruses are expected to rise 66%.  Your computer is more than 8 years old, and it will require hardware failures soon regardless.
You need to get a new Windows 7 or 8 computer.  Brand doesn’t really matter, but we suggest a fast i5 processor for about $550-$700.  MicroCenter has the best selection and is the ONLY retailer in Colorado where you can still get Windows 7.

3. Get Malwarebytes Professional for $30 for a LIFETIME Subscription
This program gets SPYWARE and MALWARE, which Anti-“VIRUS” programs don’t detect.  We’ve seen a dramatic decrease in customers with spyware since we’ve suggested this in October.  We believe EVERY HOME AND WORK Windows Computer needs this!
They discontinued their lifetime version, and replaced it with a $25/”YEAR” version. Luckily, (in my great wisdom and forethought), we bought 1000 “LIFETIME” copies for our customers, in addition to the 2500 we’ve already installed since October.
The LIFETIME no longer available from Malwarebytes.  Let is know if you want a copy and we can email you the codes.  If you don’t have the manual free version or need the newest update we recommend ALL WINDOWS USERS CLICK HERE NOW to install it.
With the number of clients needing immediate attention, our phones are ringing off the hook.  Please email us any questions you have!
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Scott Henke
Overworked Owner of Onsite Consulting
6446 E. Hampden Ave, Denver, CO 80222 (NEW LOCATION Next Door, 3x the Size!)
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