Trust&Protect Part 4: Avoiding Misinformation
Trust&Protect is our 4-part guide to financial safety designed to provide you with peace of mind in times of uncertainty. In the final part of our series, we’ll cover the dangers of misinformation, how it can impact your financial standing, and the steps you can take to ensure the information you consume is accurate.
The Dangers of Misinformation to Your Finances
In today’s world of rapid communication via the internet, social media and 24-hour media outlets, trying to absorb the amount of information in your orbit can be overwhelming. In many ways, modern technology is an effective way to keep people informed. However, when tensions and conflicts arise, such as the situation in Ukraine, information sharing is a battleground through which malicious communication tactics can lead to serious implications.
Misinformation campaigns are often put in place with the intention of increasing uncertainty among the general population. Uncertainty can lead to consumer insecurity, which can play a role in market fluctuations. For example, in 2019, shares of a bank in the UK plunged by 11%, mainly due to inaccurate rumors circulating online that the organization was facing financial issues. The economic costs are substantial and can be further compounded by reputation damage and less tangible effects such as customer behavior changes. When companies are damaged in such a way, it can create a ripple effect throughout the community and affect jobs, wages and more. If a hostile entity chose to cause damage to economic security, these types of misinformation campaigns could sow doubt into the minds of Americans and wreak havoc for everyone involved.
How to Validate Your Information
The best thing we can do to fight misinformation campaigns is to verify online stories before you share them. These campaigns are designed to fool as many people as possible, so verifying the information you pass along would help slow the spread of inaccurate information. This can be achieved by only sharing articles from sources that are trusted and can be verified from a secondary source. Check the origination of the article before you share it. You may find that the primary intention of that source is to manipulate or mislead. If a story seems too good to be true or may not necessarily seem credible, it’s worth doing some extra legwork to make sure the information is accurate.
Cyber threats come in many different shapes and sizes. It’s important that you’re aware of these threats so you can respond accordingly to protect yourself and those around you. We hope you found the Trust&Protect series helpful to your financial wellbeing, and if you have any questions or want to discuss cybersecurity further, please reach out to your local C&N representative and we’ll be glad to help you stay informed.