Cybersecurity Expert Helps Voters Identify Presidential Election Misinformation

Actualizado el 22 de octubre, 2020 - 15.01hs.

Cybersecurity Expert Helps Voters Identify Presidential Election Misinformation

Renowned cybersecurity expert and CEO of Blueclone Networks Milan Baria says American voters must take additional steps to guard against being deceived by social media posts.

PR Newswire

PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Warning that efforts to dupe Americans will increase approaching the Presidential Election, a national cybersecurity expert has developed a series of steps to help voters identify fraud and misinformation.

"Social media isn't a trusted news source," says Milan Baria, co-author of an Amazon best-seller on defending against hackers and a frequent guest expert on network news shows. "You'll see claims that people can vote on social media, or by text or phone. You can't. These posts are trying to take away your vote."

Baria points to the 2016 Presidential Election as an example of how misinformation on social media ostensibly becoming credible based on the number of engaged users. More than 8.7 million users shared, commented on or reacted to 20 election stories identified as fakes, while the 20 most popular verifiable news stories had only 7.3 million engagements in the days before the vote.

"The people in the dark corners of the Internet basement work every day to find ways to cheat or steal," says Baria. "You can't keep ahead of them, but with a careful approach, you can refuse to help them."

His recommendations:

  • Be aware of fake websites. Check the byline or news source in a search engine before clicking on the story. Some social media sites include an icon such as a blue cloud with white checkmark to show validated sources.
  • Don't share on social media anything you haven't read and confirmed.
  • Be suspicious of undated stories. Juicy rumors often resurface, even when debunked (faked moon landing, anyone? How about "Pope Endorses Trump"?).
  • Read beyond headlines, which often are clickbait and don't reflect content.
  • Investigate suspicious images and videos. Use sites such as CitizenEvidence or add a plug-in, such as InVid (Chrome or Firefox), to validate videos and images.
  • Check facts using reputable websites: the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security AgencyFactCheck, Snopes or PolitiFact, among others.
  • Respect your workplace's cybersecurity policies when viewing election-related information, and don't expose your company to hackers by opening emails or attachments from unknown senders.

Three of four American adults fear foreign governments will try to influence the election, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

Experts validate the concern.

"I believe we are more vulnerable to online disinformation from foreign and domestic sources than ever before," says Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation expert at the non-partisan Wilson Center who recently testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Matt Turek, of the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, warns more sophisticated software could exacerbate hacking and misinformation.

"This sort of technology is going to continue to advance, so these sorts of capabilities are going to become easier to use," he says.

While those concerns are valid, Baria warns, they shouldn't keep Americans from voting.

"Americans have more tools than ever before to fight misinformation, but we have to study sources and form our own opinions," he says. "If anyone in central New Jersey had walked outside on Oct. 30, 1938, they would have known Martians weren't attacking. If we learn anything from Orson Wells' 'The War of the Worlds' drama on radio – the social media of that era – it's that we should verify information before passing it on," says Baria.

Baria is CEO of Blueclone Networks. He has appeared on network television as a cybersecurity expert, and is co-author of the Amazon best-seller "You Are The #1 Target"

Media Contact
Jane Smith
Blueclone Networks 
(609) 759-2150
[email protected]


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