Honestly, at this point, the potential damage to be done by heartbleed is unknown. It is just known that a huge vulnerability exists. Fact is, however, we're at risk every day and many ways. It's not just online and not just credit or debit cards. Every time you use a card it's exposed. Any time you write a check as well. Anyone can produce a check with all your information and use it locally or online.
It behooves every one to take certain precautions. First, set up alerts on all your accounts to text and email
you any large or international or other transaction outside normal parameters. Second, look at your account online regularly, preferably daily, so issues are caught quickly. The banks are prepared and quickly can shut cards down and reissue, shut bank accounts and give a new one. Fraud departments of some work better than others. If you see some random tiny transaction such as a penny on your account, that's someone testing and time to talk to the card company if they haven't contacted you. Be aware of things like heartbleed but also take the same precautions whether or not there's a known issue. It wasn't that long ago it was a huge card processor. Of course Target but also Neiman Marcus. Most of the issues have not come from online usage.
Then add to that regularly changing passwords as big a pain as that is. And one other thing I recommend. Keep minimal amounts in your checking account and do not get overdraft protection. That way if someone does get access they'll be limited in what they get and just get your checking balance, not your savings. And you'll be able to recover the loss from the bank, although might take a little while. My checking account always has very little money
. If I was going to write a large check, I'd have to go online first and transfer money
to it. Then write.
Bank account and credit information is at risk every day. Identity theft is as well. I'd suggest regularly monitoring your credit report and having some service
to notify of new activity. I once had a housekeeper who got nine department store credit cards in my name sent to her at her address. She just said her address had changed and filled out the applications. She only got caught when she was buying
a mobile home and right before delivery
they called to verify my employment
and the HR department knew something wasn't right.