Most Americans Haven't Even Checked To See If They Were Affected By Heartbleed

Most Americans Have No Idea If They Were Affected By Heartbleed

The Heartbleed bug created a massive security hole and left websites scrambling to find a fix, but a new HuffPost/YouGov poll shows few Americans have heard much about it, much less done anything to make sure their own online presence is secure.

Only 23 percent of respondents have even checked to see if any websites they use were affected by the bug, while 77 percent said they have not checked. Slightly more people -- 38 percent -- have changed their passwords, including 6 percent who have changed all of them, 16 percent who have changed some of them, and 16 percent who have changed a few.

The poll was conducted online, so all respondents had at least some online presence.

Of course, it may be useless to change passwords for sites that have not yet instituted a fix. Although most of the biggest sites on the Internet have made fixes to remove their vulnerability, the bug can still be exploited to gain access to new passwords on any sites that haven't made those fixes.

But few Americans seem to be paying enough attention to know which passwords they should change. Not only have few Americans polled checked to see whether the websites they use were affected, but only 18 percent said they had heard a lot about the bug itself. Another 48 percent said they had heard a little, while 34 percent said they had heard nothing at all.

Many websites haven't done much to warn their users about the bug or instruct them in how to proceed. Many sites have not even contacted customers who could have been affected, whether the company was aware of a data breach or not.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted April 16-18 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling.

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