Information influencing

The aim of information influencing is to have an impact on public opinion, people’s behaviour and decision-makers, and thus on society’s ability to function.

Means of influencing include spreading false or misleading information such as fake news, social media pressure (so-called “painting”) and the misuse of information that is in itself correct, but where facts are taken out of their true context.

How to protect yourself from information influencing

– As you move around on internet, look at the mix of information and messages.

– Read the full text and check that it is correct. Only share reliable information.

– Check who the publisher is and make sure it’s a real person. If you can’t confirm the identity of the person, don’t share the material they have passed on.

– Pay attention to the language Many actors have used automated translations to spread their message in multiple languages. If the language is bad, it may be a machine translation.

– Think about how the text, images and graphics are trying to influence you. Look at the photos and try to verify their authenticity.

– If it’s a webpage, check the page’s URL. Known web addresses can be spoofed, for example by slightly changing the address. If the web address is incorrect, the information on the site is not reliable.

– If necessary, verify the message’s information or assertion from more than one source.

– Avoid navigating on suspicious websites.

– On social media accounts, don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.

– Don’t open attachments or links in emails from unknown addresses. Block the sender of such spam messages in your email.

It’s important for you also to protect your data security – your own accounts, devices and personal information. Read more on the data security page.

More information

Tips for identifying information influence activities:

Hybrid influencing is conscious influence exerted by a party, utilising multiple influence methods in order to reach their goal. The purpose of hybrid influencing is to weaken and/or harm the target. It may include for example information influencing, propaganda, support offered to extremist movements, hoarding of sensitive information, cyberattacks and hacking. 

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