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Do you think our elections in Texas are not secure? Do you think that some foreign agency is going to hack voting machines or use social engineering to influence the elections?

You're not alone.

The idea that foreign agencies are actively tampering with our elections is nothing new, and became headline fodder starting in 2016. Countries like China, Iran, and Russia are the cyber boogeymen of our modern age.

How Safe Are We?

It's an interesting question, especially considering Amarillo has had its own election hack concerns.

A study done by CRITICALSTART found that 64% of voting age adults in Texas feel like our elections aren't secure. This news comes as we all get ready for Super Tuesday. One of the most important voting days of the election cycle.

According to CRITICALSTART, their study also found that "45% believe one of the campaigns would be responsible for an election hack, while 31% say a foreign government would be the most likely culprit."

Their study also states that:

  • 62% believe TX elections are vulnerable to foreign interference
  • 62% believe TX is at least making an effort to protect against hacking or other technological threats
  • 40% say in-person paper ballots would make them more confident in the accuracy of elections

At least a majority of us think that we're making an effort to protect our votes.

Social Media Manipulation

More concerning than just "hacking" our electronic voting machines is the use of social engineering. Studies have shown that "social media manipulation" is a tool that is commonly being used to influence elections.

As much as we hate the term "fake news" and the automatic free-pass it can give someone when they don't like what is being said, there is a bit of truth to the existence of honestly fake news.

As we get ready for Super Tuesday, here are my rules for news reading:

  1. Keep In Mind The Source - Is it commentary? Is it written with a clear agenda? Keep in mind what the agenda and motivation is for whoever is writing/speaking, and go from there.
  2. Check Sources - If someone makes a wild claim and backs it up with a source, check their source.
  3. Find Opposing View Points - The drawback to social media is that we are more likely to only see things that reinforce our viewpoint rather than challenge it. Find view points opposite your own. One of two things will happen. You will either reinforce your own view, or you will be presented with information that will give you a chance to possibly change your mind. Never get your important info on any topic from just one source.