During his career, James Feldkamp has specialized in international security, foreign policy initiatives, and cybersecurity, helping a variety of establishments safeguard themselves from online threats. To help citizens protect themselves against malicious agents seeking to use their private information for harm, he shares with readers below a few key tips for protecting online activity.
James Feldkamp has served as an instrumental component in many national campaigns to strengthen cybersecurity, both in professional and private civilian capacities. He’s worked on many high-level security projects across his career and has amassed a wealth of advice for people looking to protect themselves and their information online.
“Cyber warfare is a major issue for countless countries today with foreign powers relying on hackers and information thieves to gain an upper hand over their enemy,” says James Feldkamp. “This can mean a world of trouble for the average American unless they safeguard their actions and information online. And there are a few easy-to-remember ways to do that successfully.”
To begin with, James Feldkamp suggests keeping your computer and all protective software updated. Ransomware attacks can target major corporations just as easily as they do the everyday citizen, but patching outdated software or checking for updates on systems and applications can better protect their private information. The updates help fortify programs and systems to have less vulnerabilities and entry points for hackers to exploit. Most systems and applications have a “check for updates” option in the main menu.
“Another important aspect of cybersecurity is having strong passwords that are difficult to guess or manipulate,” says James Feldkamp. “This means avoiding common words and phrases as well as relying on numbers and punctuation marks.”
He says that you don’t have to have complex passwords to be efficient, and not every password will need to use a combination of symbols, numbers, and letters. As long as the password is at least eight characters long and uses one or two numbers or symbols, it should offer ample protection. While it may seem difficult to keep up with varying passwords, cybersecurity experts like James Feldkamp also advise against using the same passwords across multiple programs or accounts.
Additionally, Feldkamp asks all people to protect their information by only filling out and inputting it online where absolutely necessary. He warns against unnecessarily including things like names, addresses, location details, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, emails and the like on social media platforms, forums, and other public web domains. Everyone should be cautious about sharing any type of information online, and they should only ever input it if a site is a guaranteed secure page.
“The last bit of advice I have is to avoid public wifi if at all possible,” says James Feldkamp. “This is one of the easiest ways for hackers to tap into your system and steal information. If you must use public wifi, it’s always a safer bet to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to work anonymously online. By using a VPN and following these other tips, you built up a much stronger defense against online attackers and thieves.”