I spoke to a 5th grade class about identity theft the other day. I quickly discovered that these kids were struggling with EXACTLY the same problems most of us struggle with in our workplace and our personal lives. They were swimming in a sea of dubious information, not able to tell what was real and what was not, or if they were being scammed or by whom.\u201cSometimes I\u2019m gaming,\u201d said one kid, \u201cand someone asks \u2018What\u2019s your real name?\u2019 and I\u2019m like, why does he need to know?\u201d\u201cI was on this chat board, and I could just tell this person was totally fake, but I didn\u2019t know what to do,\u201d said another kid.+ Also on Network World:\u00a0What fake news means for IT\u2014and how IT security can help fight it +The truth is, every day, in every possible way, we get bombarded with fake information. It doesn\u2019t matter how old we are, how smart we are, whether we\u2019re at home or at work. The world is full of falsity, whether it\u2019s phishing, fake news or some weirdo trying to learn more about us when we\u2019re playing a video game.Let me continue my point with a hypothetical. Let\u2019s say this story landed in your inbox:\u201cTrump Slashes Federal Cybersecurity Budget\u201dIn a move that caught many by surprise, President Donald Trump announced today that he was eliminating the office of the Federal CISO, repealing the\u00a0Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP), introduced just a year ago by President Obama, and dramatically reducing funding targeted to improving the IT infrastructure across many federal agencies.\u00a0\u201cOur agencies can\u2019t solve their security problems. Very sad. Time to outsource cybersecurity,\u201d\u00a0tweeted\u00a0President Trump.Is it phishing? Am I being tempted to click a link that will lead me to a website that will install malware on my computer and infect my network?Is it \u201cfake news\u201d? Is it another attempt to undermine the legitimacy of Trump\u2019s election and fool me into supporting some political agenda?Or is it just random noise cooked up by some click-hungry marketer eager to get page views?In fact, it could be any, or all, of these. And if you\u2019re sifting through the massive onslaught of information that we all go through every single day\u2014email, Facebook, LinkedIn\u2014you can\u2019t always tell what is true or what should be trusted. And therein lies one of the central problems of our age.The Search for TruthAt the end of our recent Presidential election, when it became clear to everyone that fake news had become an existential problem for democracy, we saw all kinds of attempts to identify who was \u201cresponsible\u201d for combating this problem.The truth is, we all are.The folks at Google and Facebook have both stepped up to the plate recently with plans to help users identify and resist fake news.Educators have also weighed in, with professors at the University of Washington and the University of Michigan offering classes in how to develop better BS detectors.And we\u2019ve seen people addressing their own professional communities with advice and tips on how they can resist the spread of fakery in their own domain, whether it\u2019s librarians (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions), tech leaders (Steve King) or even marketers (Nicola Brown).Fake news and the InfoSec connectionThose of us in the information security community continue to do our part\u2014from the coders who create algorithms to identify and flag fake news, to the white-hat hackers who penetrate networks to help strengthen them, to the engineers who train machines to identify anomalous network behavior so it can be isolated and examined. (Readers will be able to identify many more.)If you\u2019re responsible for running the security awareness program at your organization, you should revel in the company of those seeking to stop anyone who would steal our information and compromise our networks. If this age of fake news has any silver lining, it\u2019s the renewed attention being paid to equipping all employees, all people, with the skills to navigate treacherous waters.It\u2019s a tricky world out there, and there are malicious actors seeking to distort and steal and control information\u2014for all kinds of motives. We see time and time again that these attackers will come after you and your employees at home and at work. But there are also many of us\u2014many of you\u2014who in designing systems, monitoring networks, and educating employees are truly seeking the greater good.So, I say, in a world that sometimes seems a little dark, let\u2019s all look for ways to shed a little light.