Misinformation Isn’t Just Frustrating…It’s Dangerous Too!

February 13, 2024

Introduction

It happens all the time: A coworker gives you a quick workaround for a long-winded procedure, or friends offer cool new applications to try, or we download new browser extensions based on good reviews from other customers.

Did you know that in our digital world, misinformation isn’t just a social problem…it’s a serious cybersecurity threat?!

That’s right! When false information spreads, it can unleash chaos and create vulnerabilities in our workplaces. Don’t fret; here is your guide to combating cybercriminal misinformation and becoming a better steward of your secure data, in the process.

Accidental Versus Intentional

Misinformation isn’t always spread on purpose, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still dangerous. Learning incorrect procedures and best practices in the workplace lends itself to mistakes that can cause harm to your digital data, and even risk your physical safety. If you don’t learn the correct way to operate heavy machinery or technical applications, repercussions can have a disastrous domino effect!

While accidentally misleading people leads to confusion and poor decisions…outright deceit is even worse. If an insider threat has a clear intent to mislead, harm, or profit, then they will be able to craft exceptionally convincing fraud schemes. They know the ins and outs of the business, and have a personal report with coworkers. Still, outsiders who intend to mislead you, or anyone else in the organization, can be just as detrimental.

How to Fend Off Misinformation

Cybercriminals are increasingly using misinformation tactics, like spreading false stories or crafting deceptive content, to manipulate users and sneak into secure spaces. That is why it’s so crucial that everybody else stays vigilant and informed!

So, what can you do to fight this digital deception?

  • Stay educated. Know the difference between cybersecurity best practices and misinformation, and be aware of the common scams out there!
  • Be skeptical. Don’t just accept information at face value. Verify, especially when it comes to promoting good information hygiene.
  • Avoid sharing unverified information and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
  • Report suspicious activity. If something feels off, report it! Your vigilance can stop the spread of harmful misinformation.

With these tips, you’ll be ready to spot, question, verify and combat misinformation about cybersecurity…whether it’s spread on purpose or not!

Conclusion

It’s just as important to understand why threat actors lie to you, as it is to recognize those lies when they come into your inbox. Regardless of their intention or motivation, though, the ultimate takeaway is that misinformation can come from anywhere. Even trusted sources can be led astray or mistaken themselves, and their good intentions won’t save you from the pitfalls of poor cyber hygiene.

Remember your security awareness training all year round, and you’ll be much more adept at spotting and reporting suspicious messages and behavior. When it comes to your private data, accept nothing but the whole truth!

By reaching the end of this blog post, you’ve already taken one huge, first step toward better cyber-safety, every day.

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