Heartbleed reminds us the Internet isn’t safe

Internet researchers discovered and announced April 7 the flaw called Heartbleed in OpenSSL. Heartbleed has caused a huge wave of panic about information online — the fact that it could have been able to get any kind of information from servers including passwords, credit card numbers and secret keys.

It’s a huge hit to the Internet security world, especially since Bloomberg reported that the NSA has known about Heartbleed and exploited it for two years.

But are we really surprised that something like Heartbleed exists? While all websites pledge and preach the safety of their servers and lockdowns on their information, Snapchat should have taught us all a valuable lesson: just because you think it’s gone from the Internet, doesn’t mean it is.

According to Mashable, Heartbleed may be one of the biggest threats to Internet security ever. With a name like that, it’s not hard to believe. But something like Heartbleed was bound to exist when we’ve become a society that saves everything on magic clouds we never see or touch.

For the most part, it’s been pretty safe. We save research papers to Google Drive, give gift cards through Facebook and purchase cool items through Etsy. But now, all of those websites are on Mashable’s list for passwords you need to change because their servers were affected.

Digital Life tech reporter Jeffrey Van Camp wrote about how Heartbleed has turned our daily lives that revolve around tech into a huge potential landmine where we’re running around blind. Everyone’s running around acting like they’re so surprised that this has happened, but in reality, something like Heartbleed had to exist.

Why? Because the Internet isn’t a safe place. That lock on the top of your search bar is a lie, officially thanks to Heartbleed, and changing your passwords constantly can only do so much. Luckily, there are a billion of us out there and the chances that hackers will definitely find your information are slim; but not that slim.

Snapchat’s big appeal is that a snap disappears after you send it. Last year, it became widely apparent that Snapchat photos didn’t disappear at all and could be found for a few hundred dollars. Didn’t we learn from our questionable Snapchats what’s at stake?

But let’s be real here: as much as I tell you that the Internet isn’t safe, you and I won’t change. We’ll keep Instagramming and saving everything in our Google cloud, pinning our hearts away on Pinterest and liking everything on Facebook. We don’t want to change, even though we know it’s bad for us. We knew that putting our banking info in any website or app was bad in the first place but when you can’t even shop at Target anymore, where can you shop?

We’re in a digital age where our information is up for grabs. But the scarier thing? You’re still shopping at Target.

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