A cybersecurity expert and specialist in international security, Jim Feldkamp holds an insightful perspective on efforts to safeguard information online. Below, he shares with readers a few key tips for protecting themselves against malicious online attacks and securing their private information when using the internet.
For years, Jim Feldkamp has worked on high-level security projects, which have helped him gain a critical understanding of topics like cybersecurity, vulnerabilities online, and common methods attackers use to exploit users. This insight allows him to strengthen security for both professional establishments and individuals, which is a growing concern around the world.
“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 Jim 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.”
Use Only Strong Passwords
Jim Feldkamp tells us that strong passwords are those that are difficult to guess and which use a combination of letters, numbers, and other characters. Not every password has to be extremely complex or difficult to remember, he says, but shouldn’t be made up of simple word combinations. He suggests that all passwords be at least eight characters long and that passwords aren’t shared across different accounts. This way, they aren’t as easy to find or to manipulate.
Keep Software Updated
Another proactive and simple way of warding off online attacks is to keep your computer and all protective software updated. Viruses and ransomware attacks can have a detrimental effect on anyone’s life as these efforts can either destroy computers or else steal private information from them. The key is in patching outdated software or checking for updates on systems and applications, Jim Feldkamp says. These updates fortify online systems and helps seal off any entry points hackers or malware could use to confiscate private information.
Be Selective Where You Input Personal Information
There are countless places online that ask for personal information as simple as your first name or as in-depth as your credit card or social security number. It’s wise to input this information only where it’s absolutely necessary. Information shared online might fall into the hands of one or many hackers who regularly “phish” for things like phone numbers, emails, addresses, card numbers, personal identification numbers, and more. If you must share this information online, it’s also wise to only do so on verified secure web pages.
Avoid Public Wifi, or Use a VPN
Jim Feldkamp says public wifi is one of the most vulnerable means of accessing the internet. It’s possible for hackers to exploit unsecure networks and pull information from devices connected to it. If you must use public wifi, he suggests looking to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that allow users to log in anonymously online and protect their privately stored information.
“There are too many opportunities online for foreign agents to break into computers or smart devices and steal information for people not to take extreme measures to protect it,” says Jim Feldkamp. “While this isn’t a comprehensive list for protecting private information online, it is a great primer for navigating the internet without worry of being hacked or robbed.”