Thank you ACT and Steve Anderson for making this clearer for us.

What is Heartbleed?

  • Heartbleed is not a true ‘virus’, however it exploits a vulnerability in OpenSSL (Secure Socket Layer).

-Used by insurance agents and carriers for TLS email security.

  • This affects some websites that display addresses beginning with “https:” – but not all. It allows hackers to more easily steal logins and passwords.
  • Most financial institutions don’t use OpenSSL, but many sites like Gmail, Facebook, and Yahoo do.

Insurance Industry Response

  • Insurance industry vendors are working to determine if they are affected, and if so, apply fixes.
  • You may be receiving emails from your vendor(s) confirming this.  If not, check with them before changing passwords.

What should YOU do?

  1. Check whether websites or services you use are safe.
    • Review continually-updated lists.  One is at GitHub: GitHub Heartbleed Masstest
    • Test the sites you frequent using a Heartbleed testing service. Following are just two of many testing services:
      1. Take steps to re-set your passwords but only once the provider has patched.
      2. Keep a close eye on your online transactions (credit card, bank account, and other financial statements).

Moving Forward

Heartbleed is also a clear reminder that you must have a strong ongoing ID/Password policy:

  • Change your passwords on a regular basis – every 60 days is recommended.
  • Do not use the same password on multiple sites.
  • Use strong passwords – Containing 8+ characters, including both upper and lower case letters and numbers, and special characters if allowed (“!”, “$”, etc.).
  • Continue to be vigilant – Watch for more news on Heartbleed and viruses.

This overview contains summaries from an article created by Steve Anderson, hosted on his ‘Tech Tips’ website.  The full article can be found at: 

News Release

‘The Ripple Effect’ Is Theme of Fourth Insurance Branding Conference 

SPRINGFIELD, VA (June 6, 2013) — Specialist branding firm Aartrijk has opened registration for its Brand Camp 2013 event for insurance brand decision-makers via its website at

Brand Camp 2013 will be held November 4-6 at the historic Hotel Monaco in downtown Baltimore near the Inner Harbor. The hands-on conference — the fourth such event — is designed for management and marketing leaders at insurance carriers, agents and brokers, industry trade associations, and service providers. Continue Reading…

BHBCo 2012 Social Media & Online Marketing Survey Results

March 7, 2013

ACT is indebted to Jason Hoeppner and his firm B.H. Burke & Co. once again this year for conducting this social media and marketing survey and for customizing the results for ACT so that it focuses on just the agent and broker results.  ACT also wants to thank the many organizations that helped promote this […]

Read the full article →

Insurance Ecosystem Website Updates

January 25, 2013

If you are receiving this post via email you should have received an email in the last few days to re-subscribe. If you have done so you are set. The old feed was disabled after this post. If you subscribed via RSS you need to re-subscribe at the website. If you haven’t previously subscribed, please […]

Read the full article →

ACT Getting a Grip: How to manage your independent agency’s social media

January 15, 2013

Getting a Grip: How to manage your independent agency’s social media (Friday, February 15, 1:00–2:00 PM eastern time) Social media has provided many independent insurance agencies with a powerful new marketing, communications & branding tool which is powering growth for them.  But how do these agencies successfully manage their social media initiative?  This webinar will […]

Read the full article →

Streamlining Data Entry into the iPad mini

January 9, 2013

As I expand the use of my iPad mini into my business life, I look for ways to make it easier to get information into the device. The idea that I have to carry both a notebook computer and an iPad to conduct business is becoming less attractive to me … if I need both, […]

Read the full article →

Grow Your Agency & Improve Your Marketing by Tracking Key Metrics

January 2, 2013

About this article: The author studied the differences between high growth agencies in his territory and those that were not growing or growing only marginally. He determined that a key differentiator for the high growth agencies is that they tracked and acted upon key metrics relating to the origins of their business, close ratios, revenue […]

Read the full article →

Twas the Night Before Christmas – Underwriters’ Version

December 19, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas (12:01 A.M. 12/25) and all through the house (single family, joisted masonry, E.C. 3, territory 44, PC 5) Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse (through pride of ownership and excellent maintenance.) The (flame retardant) stockings were hung by the (contractor installed) chimney with care In hopes that […]

Read the full article →

A Millennial’s Take on Social Media

October 18, 2012

About this article: Independent Agent Mike Foy asked his daughter Lauren, currently in college, to comment on a recent Independent Agent article, “Marketing to Millennials,” by Michael Fleischner ( Lauren provided a very interesting perspective as a future insurance consumer on how she views and uses social media, commercials and the Internet to shop. She […]

Read the full article →

Our Customer Tweeted a Claim….and we Responded!

September 13, 2012

My cyber friend, insurance agent extraordinaire, Mom, community leader, blogger, soon to be published author, Insurance Goddess – Carrie Reynolds, agreed to share this recent post with the Insurance Ecosystem readers. This post shows the importance of being involved with your clients in various forms of media. Follow Carrier at Insurance Goddess, Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.   Have […]

Read the full article →