KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's called the Heartbleed bug, a mistake in widely used software that could make it easier for identity thieves to steal personal information.
If you're not in the habit of changing online passwords, the Heartbleed bug may motivate you to do it.
"You never know what kind of flaw out there could cause, sort of open the door for hackers to get in to your private information,” said Lindsay Turrentine of CNET.com.
The Heartbleed bug is a flaw in OpenSSL, widely-used encryption software that usually protects personal information. It went two years without being detected, but there's no firm evidence yet that the flaw's been exploited.
Call For Action contacted Kansas City companies to ask if consumers should do anything.
UMB states in its blog, “None of UMB’s computer systems were impacted by the Heartbleed bug. As soon as these hackers were exposed, UMB took immediate action. We were able to find that none of our banks were vulnerable to this issue. We also added specific, proactive monitoring.”
In its blog, H & R Block states, “We have found no risk to client data from this issue. As a result of this situation, we are reviewing our systems and taking the appropriate steps to ensure our customers are protected.”
A Missouri Gas Energy spokesman states, “At this time, we have seen no indicators of compromise in relation to the Heartbleed Bug.”
KCP&L reports, “We are currently monitoring our system for the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug and will advise our customers if they need to take action. At this time, we have not detected any signs of suspicious activity. We do recommend that customers update their passwords for all sites periodically for extra security protection.”
So what should you do? Security experts suggest consumers make new passwords and change them every few months. In the coming weeks, pay extra attention to financial records for anything unusual.