Alongside the numerous innovations brought on by technology are just as many pitfalls, such as fake news and disinformation. A recent survey shows that an overwhelming 90% of the country’s adult population has been exposed to some form of fake news, whether that’s through the internet, television, or their own friends and family.
Disinformation has now gone past gossiping and spreading rumors, and its effects have a reach far beyond our online spheres. Today, unverified facts about COVID-19 and its vaccine plague internet communities on a global scale. Influencers and fake news peddlers openly spread misleading content to their followers. Even online and text scams frequently fool people into sharing personal details or money.
“Amid the many technological advancements we’re seeing day-to-day, we’re living in a precarious digital landscape,” says DFNN’s President & CEO Calvin Lim. “Access to the internet also means access to a world of information, a large chunk of which is not properly verified. Individuals must protect themselves against this growing issue, but at the same time, the system and larger groups like companies should also work to protect the regular consumer,” he adds.
There are several ways to protect oneself from online propaganda, DFNN notes. Here are five of them.
Verify sources at all times: It’s best to make sure that all information and news comes from legitimate sources like reputable media outlets - especially before sharing these to social media profiles or to family and friends.
When getting information from social media, track its original source: Information can often be taken out of context or edited to fit a certain narrative. Before believing or sharing news tidbits like short videos or photos, find the full source to get the complete story.
Read beyond the headlines: News and articles may be written using clickbait or misleading headlines, only for the full story to say something completely different. Be sure to always read entire articles.
Diversify sources: Even when reading credible sources, it’s still a good idea to get news from a variety of trustworthy outlets to gain different perspectives and larger amounts of information.
Protect online footprint & identity: Do not share personal information to suspicious sources or individuals, to avoid being targeted by scams or illicit groups that claim to be legitimate.
On a larger scale, DFNN believes that industry-wide changes to digital security, data privacy, and technological infrastructures will also play a key role in combating fake news and disinformation. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, for example, can be used to spot and filter misleading information. Meanwhile, blockchain technologies are already being used to create credibility for verified news by making sources easily trackable, and attaching digital seals of approval for its veracity.
“Technology is a double-edged sword of innovation and propaganda, but there is always something we can do to fight this significant but overlooked part of online security,” states Lim. “We have an internet epidemic on our hands, but there are two very important weapons to combat it - and that’s us as individuals, and technology that aims to secure.”
Fighting disinformation is In line with DFNN’s vision of digital inclusivity. The company continues to look for partnerships that harness value from integrating digital solutions and finding synergies as new technologies come to the forefront such as blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, fintech exchanges & markets; pervasive internet with entry of other low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and other space technologies, recognizing that providing a secure customer experience is integral to its growth and resilience to challenges.