Combating Foreign Influence Operations
The FBI has launched a website dedicated to combating foreign influence operations and one of those initiatives is called Protected Voices. According to the Bureau, the site was created “to educate the public about the threats faced from disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks, and the overall impact of foreign influence on society.” The content is meant to increase cyber awareness and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of infiltration by a foreign influence entity. The website features videos for phishing, social engineering, password hygiene, and more.
Although the FBI’s initiative is geared more toward protecting political campaigns, the advice, not surprisingly, is relevant to any individual or organization. This information can be used to protect anyone with access to a computer and the Internet. Consider sharing these videos directly with your workforce.
How can you, as an individual, help in this effort? In addition to making yourself a hard target with strong passwords and phishing recognition skills, think about what you encounter as you navigate the web and avoid spreading misinformation yourself. Ask yourself these questions before sharing information:
Is the news current?
Sometimes old articles resurface and appear to be current, so always be sure to check the date.
Is it a fact or an opinion?
Read the article closely to determine if the author is sharing opinions or facts. Does the author provide supporting evidence?
What purpose does the article serve?
Is it informative? Is it selling something? Attempt to decipher the true intent behind the story.
The FBI initiative was designed to help combat foreign influence operations in the political arena, but can also be used to increase general cyber awareness and protect individuals and organizations from scams.