"Heartbleed was not just a narrow issue. It's been talked about by the masses," said Zulfikar Ramzan, chief technology officer at Elastica, a cloud security company. "My doctor brought it up with me," he said.
Other experts agreed. More people who may not be very tech-savvy are changing their passwords and thinking about being smarter with security online, they said. "This has been a wake-up call for the general public," RedSeal's Lloyd said. For one thing, Heartbleed has made more people think about the strength of their passwords, he said.
People may also be taking a more holistic view of their online accounts. Internet users are more aware now that it's not smart to use the same password for a social media account on Facebook and a bank account at Wells Fargo, said RedSeal's Lloyd.
Using different passwords for different sites and making those passwords stronger isn't revolutionary, but it's progress.
"Sometimes it takes a disaster to get people to do something they should have been doing all along," said Steve Pate, chief architect at HyTrust, via email.
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