Masbad: Of Kayaks and Bleeding Hearts

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By Roark L. Masbad

Wacky Tech

Sunday, April 13, 2014


NO, I'M not going to talk about the intricacies of a kayak and how it's built, where to use it or how to become an expert kayaker. I'm talking about the website and app - Kayak.

Kayak

We all know that there are tons of travel sites floating on the net. There's Expedia, for one. What Kayak does is that it lets you search through the hundreds of these travel sites all at once without having to go through each one. You let Kayak do the heavy lifting for you.

Kayak

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You can do your search through their website - www.kayak.com or you can download their mobile apps. It's available for iOS, Android, Windows and even for the Kindle Fire. Sadly, there's not a version for the Blackberry. Either way, what they have available pretty much covers everything.

The other good thing about this service is that you can sign up for free and it will let you save and manage your itineraries, get alerts for the best priced hotels and flights. That's a nifty way of being able to track everything.

Kayak


Think of Kayak as your virtual travel agent as well as your travel planner.

Heartbleed

Over the last week, there was an Internet-wide threat that came out. It was called the Heartbleed bug. Here's a short description from the website www.heartbleed.com:

The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

What that means is that if a server you login to is vulnerable, anyone who knows how to exploit this bug can pretty much siphon information that normally should be encrypted and unreadable. It's a scary thought.

I only got wind of this last Monday. I, since then, changed passwords to my most-used websites - email, social media and the like. I think you should too. Right away. And when you change your password, try changing your password to something that's, at least, difficult to hack.

Here's a website with a tool that you can use to create your own passwords - http://www.passwordcard.org/en. I use this tool to create all my passwords. Read through the website on how to use the password card and you'l be surprised to know how easy to use it.

Anyway, back to Heartbleed. Most of the websites though have already patched this security hole and have taken steps to protect your privacy. A lot though will recommend that you still change your password. It's not a bad idea really. Moreso if the last time you did change your password was more than 3 months ago.

Below are a few links that I have to help you learn more about this vulnerability.
> http://heartbleed.com/
> http://mashable.com/2014/04/09/heartbleed-bug-websites-affected/
> http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/
> http://www.zdnet.com/heartbleed-serious-openssl-zero-day-vulnerability-r...

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