When security researchers discovered a serious flaw — named “Heartbleed” — in the encryption technology that was supposed to protect users’ information, no one knew how the bug would affect online users.
Of the 1,501 American adults that Pew Research Center surveyed, only 39 percent of those took action to secure their online accounts, after finding out about the Heartbleed bug.
Twenty-nine percent believed their information was put at risk, but only six percent thought any of their information was actually stolen.
There is no way yet to know if users’ information has been compromised. Even if a user secured their account in April, the account could have been hacked at any time in the past two years. So for two years, users’ data could have been stolen. If money from your bank account has disappeared, the evidence is clear. But if a cyberthief stole something like your Social Security number, you might not know, unless already a victim of identity theft.
Chances are though, if nothing happened to you in the past two years while the flaw went undetected, you’re (hopefully) safe.