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John Merrill to host counterintelligence and security seminar

Secretary of State John Merrill announced Monday that he will observe National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by hosting a cybersecurity seminar.

The seminar, which is set to take place on October 18, will feature Mr. Bill Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center. According to an online press release, the program “will educate election officials from all 67 counties on ways to improve economic security and increase our nation’s security against any international actors looking to influence a U.S. election.”

“The Office of the Secretary of State is committed to providing safe and secure elections,” Merrill said. “We will continue to work with various agencies to ensure we are providing the best practices as deemed by the election community.”

Merrill said he also “hopes to increase awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to provide Alabamians with the resources needed to be safe and secure online.”

In addition to conducting election-related cybersecurity training, Merrill released the following suggestions this month to promote a more cyber aware environment statewide:

  • Enable multi-factor authentication to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Update your banking, email, social media and any other service that requires logging in.
  • Before connecting to a public wireless network, be sure to confirm the name of the network and any other necessary information with the appropriate staff to confirm the network is safe and secure.
  • Customize your standard password for different sites to prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your accounts. Be sure to use different, complex passwords to stay protected.
  • Limit the information you post on social media. Seemingly random details can be used to track someone online and in the physical world. Keep personal information private.
  • If you are unsure who an email is from (even if the name seems familiar), do not respond or click on any links or attachments. Cybercriminals often use phishing tactics to fool users.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

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