A new security bug dubbed Heartbleed has been recently discovered, leading to several major implications for the entire Web. This bug has the capability to cause major harms by scraping a server’s memory, where important data is being stored, including private data such as usernames, passwords and credit card numbers.

This is turning into a serious issue because the Heartbleed bug has already affected nearly 500,000 websites, according to an Internet research firm Netcraft. We bring to you a list of measures you can adopt in order to protect your information.

Avoid logging into accounts from afflicted sites: Do not log into accounts from afflicted sites unless you are pretty sure that the company has fixed the problem. The company may not confirm a fix and update you regularly, so you have to call their customer service teams for updated information. Several sites are still infected, but they are saying that their sites are all or partly fixed. You need to be careful even if the site gives you an “all clear” indication. Majority of users would change their password immediately, but experts suggest that you should wait until the problem is fixed because further activity on a vulnerable site could increase the problem.

Change passwords after the problem is fixed: The first thing you should do when the problem is fixed is change passwords of your sensitive accounts, including banks and email. The change of password is recommended even when you have activated the two-factor authentication.

Check with small businesses using your data to ensure security: Check the security of your data even with small businesses in order to ensure that it is safe. There is a high possibility that the small companies might not even be aware of the new security bug, so act proactive in order to avoid any loss of data.

Carefully check financial statements for the next few days: Check your financial statements carefully for the next few days as there is a possibility that attackers might have accessed a server’s memory for your credit card information. It will take no time to lookout for unfamiliar charges on your bank statements.

These guidelines do not ensure full protection but can definitely reduce risk to a large extent.