TECH BYTE: How to Step Up Cyber Security During Elections

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Whether it’s for a primary race, or for the general election in November, it’s important for elections to be secure when we vote.

But it’s not just on government officials to make that happen.

There are things we can do to protect our elections, and keep from getting scammed.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security say cyber attacks on campaigns and elections are “wider and more pervasive” this year.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett says states can no longer just focus on providing secure voting, but addressing misinformation about the system.

“Not only do we have to battle actual threats to our election infrastructure, we have to combat the perception these systems have been compromised,” Hargett said.

It goes back to what we share on social media.

“When you share something about elections on social media, use trusted sources such as your state and county election officials,” Hargett said. “We all play a role in protecting our election process.”

So how can we better protect the election process?

Kim Wyman with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency says to make a difference, voters should have strong passwords, be aware of phishing trends, and keep devices updated.

“We also are seeing an uptick, really across the spectrum of IT, not just in elections of ransomware,” Wyman said. “That seems to be a threat that was here before, but I think we’re seeing much more activity in the ransomware arena, and it’s hitting county governments, local governments, and certainly has a potential for election offices, so it’s always evolving, always changing.”

For more information on how to protect our elections from cyber attacks, go here.


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