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Internet users urged to change passwords following 'Heartbleed bug'

By: Ruben Veloz
EL PASO, Texas -- Computer researchers are scrambling to fix a major security flaw that is affecting hundreds of major websites.
The problem is attributed to a security flaw known as the "Heartbleed Bug," and it allows hackers to easily gain access to your personal information within minutes.
"It sounds bad. It sounds like a disease, I haven't really heard about it before," said west El Pasoan Stephen Wells.
Wells tells KFOX14 he frequently uses his computer for things like online banking, checking emails, and paying back student loans.
Wells said  he just checked his bank statement Thursday without checking to see if the website was safe.
"I am glad they are telling people about it now. I think it's good for the websites to let people know," said Wells.
The problem is centered on a flaw with the encryption technology used to prevent eavesdropping.
You'll notice it when you log on to a website and see the lock icon on the address bar.  
It's supposed to prevent hackers from seeing sensitive information like usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and more.
Computer experts say this bug may have gone undetected for at least two years.
"I try to be careful. I run virus scans on my computer frequently," said Stephen Wells.
But a virus scan won't protect you; security experts are advising web users to update their passwords once they confirm a site has taken steps to fix the bug.
KFOX14 found a couple of tools to that will tell you whether or not a web site has been fixed -- but if you are planning to bank online, you may still want to verify with your bank directly.
"I think that today's day and age people are getting more used to the idea that hackers and online security is going to become a more back and forth fight," said Wells.

Most websites have already updated their software, but there are still others that need to be fixed.
To find out whether or not your site is secure from the "Heartbleed bug," go online to: