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You should change these passwords asap

Heartbleed graphic

If you are connected to the tech world, you have probably already heard about Heartbleed, a fancy name for a recently discovered flaw in website security that may have made several commonly used websites vulnerable to attacks.

Even if you are not a techie person, you can still be at risk for the effects of this "bug," which can include unwanted access to your email, your facebook, and other private information.

Mashable, a leading technology news website, has put together a recommended list of websites and online services that you should be changing your passwords for right now. This list includes common websites such as Yahoo, Gmail, Google, Facebook and more. You can also test to see if sites you use are vulnerable. The JCPL Library website and catalog are not vulnerable, for instance.

While you are cleaning up your own accounts, do not forget about friends and relatives, like your grandparents, children, or anyone else you may have helped onto the information highway in recent years.

With more and more services moving online, and creeping into everything from couponing to classifieds to egovernment, many people who are otherwise technologically disinclined are now getting email accounts and other online services to complete tasks once available through other means.

These folks may be even more at risk for the effects of attacks such as this bug, because -- as we see at the library on a regular basis -- the idea of changing passwords is as daunting a prospect as getting on the internet to begin with. They may ignore warnings because the response seems too challenging, or they may not be aware of the tech news at all.

So if you know someone who is tech shy, please take a moment to help make sure they are up-to-date with these changes as well.

For more news about Heartbleed, check out this Google News list of articles about Heartbleed.