5 Security Guidelines You Should Follow Before You Cast Your Ballot
As more election dates quickly approach, make sure you protect yourself before you hit the polls. As we know so well, there is a lot of misleading and conflicting information online and in the media. On top of that, cybercriminals are targeting voters to either steal their personal information, infiltrate their network, or try to influence their vote.
Take control of your vote by following these security guidelines:
- Be extra cautious when opening campaign and election emails, social media posts, links, and attachments, especially from unknown sources. Phishing emails are often sophisticated and appear as if they come from an authentic source. These emails usually have a sense of urgency and may be emotionally driven meant to incite fear, anger, hope, or excitement. Be on the lookout for high risk file types including: .exe, .com, .scr, and .zip. If you have even the slightest inkling something is off, contact that company via phone to confirm legitimacy. Before clicking on a link, hover over the it with your mouse to see the entire URL before you click on it. Make sure you check the email address by hovering your mouse over the ‘from’ address and go through letter by letter, number by number, to make sure there were no alterations. Also, look for public email domain names – no legitimate company is going to contact you via a ‘@gmail.com’. Review our 7 Signs of a Phishing Email here.
- When looking for voting information online, whether you are searching for your designated polling station or looking up candidates and election dates, only visit legitimate sites. Look for https:/ in the URL. The ‘S’ stands for secure. HTTPS helps protects the integrity of the website by preventing hackers from tampering with and listening to the communications between the website and your browser. It also protects your privacy and security. Another indicator for a legitimate site is the padlock in the browser bar, which means the site is encrypted.
- Do not disclose your personal information when registering or voting without first vetting what is and what isn’t required. You should be prepared to show your photo ID, but if the poll worker asks for your Mother’s maiden name or your social security number, this should raise a red flag. Before heading to the poll, review Voter ID Requirements here.
- While at the poll, keep your eyes open for suspicious activity. If anything seems off, notify a poll worker immediately. Computers, tablets, thumb drives, etc. should not be present in the voting booth.
- Fact check before you post something on social media. Any information that you choose to post should be vetted to avoid spreading fake news and malicious sites. Always make sure that the story is coming from a credible source and that the site is secure and encrypted.
Protect your vote and personal information by adhering to the voting security guidelines above.
The Primary Runoff is on August 11, 2020 in Georgia and on June 23, 2020 in South Carolina. The General election is on November 3, 2020.
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