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Secretary Merrill to Observe National Cybersecurity Awareness Month through Hosting Counterintelligence and Security Seminar


Monday, October 7, 2019 – MONTGOMERY – This month, Secretary of State John H. Merrill has partnered with agencies across the country to observe National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Through this initiative, Secretary Merrill hopes to increase awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to provide Alabamians with the resources needed to be safe and secure online.

On October 18 at 10:00 AM, Secretary Merrill will be hosting a cybersecurity seminar featuring Mr. Bill Evanina, Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center. This 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. We will continue to work with various agencies to ensure we are providing the best practices as deemed by the election community,” explained Secretary Merrill.

In addition to conducting election-related cybersecurity training, Secretary Merrill released the following suggestions earlier 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.

To remain up-to-date with tips and upcoming events, be sure to follow the Office of the Secretary of State on Twitter and Facebook.