Frequently asked questions

Psychological defence is society’s common capabilities for identifying and resisting malign information influence directed at Sweden by antagonistic foreign powers or other external threat actors.

We are all a part of psychological defence – agencies, municipalities, regions, civil society, businesses, the cultural sector and everyone living in Sweden. Our collective resilience against disinformation, misleading information and propaganda will prevent or pre-empt antagonists from influencing our decisions, perceptions or behaviour. During peacetime and in a heightened state of alert or war alike, psychological defence shall ensure Sweden’s freedom and independence, an open and democratic society with freedom of opinion and free media.

Strong psychological defence rests on three pillars:

  • free, scrutinising independent media
  • a well-informed and well-educated population
  • a society that holds together, in which people trust in each other and in authorities.

The agency leads efforts to coordinate, develop and strengthen Sweden’s psychological defence. In order to strengthen our psychological defence and capabilities for resisting external influences, we inform and support the population of Sweden, as well as agencies, municipalities, regions, the business sector, civil society and other organisations. We do this through training, exercises, information initiatives and knowledge enhancement.

An important part of our work is also preventing, detecting, analysing and counteracting malign information influence and other misleading information that can pose a threat to the people of Sweden.

Sweden has numerous aspects that are worthy of protection. Such as the right to live as we choose – regardless of gender, age, religion, sexual orientation or origin.

Together we defend:

  • Freedom of expression – so that we may express our thoughts, opinions and feelings freely.
  • Freedom of information – so that we may access news without censorship.
  • Freedom of association – so that we may choose with whom we mix and organise ourselves.
  • Freedom of demonstration – so that we may raise our voice without being punished.
  • Freedom of assembly – so that we may organise meetings and gatherings.
  • Freedom of religion – so that we may believe what we wish.
  • Freedom of movementso that we may travel freely and also leave the country.

Our open, democratic society is not granted, but something we need to defend together. The Government and the Riksdag have therefore decided on a number of ‘protective values’ that we must all safeguard:

  • Human life and health
  • Essential services – that is, transport, healthcare, electricity supply and other operations needed for society to function without severe disruptions
  • Democracy, rule of law and human rights
  • Our environmenẗ and economic values – such as land, water and fauna, but also property and everything produced in Sweden
  • National sovereignty – that is, the country’s territory and access to important supplies.

Malign information influence is when antagonistic foreign powers or other external threat actors attempt to harmfully influence, disrupt or steer public discourse in Sweden. Means of information influence include disinformation, misleading information and propaganda.

For something to be identified as malign information influence, the following criteria must be met:


The information influence is deliberately misleading. Reliable communication is open and transparent, and its content is credible and verifiable.


The information influence aims to undermine constructive dialogue and open debate. Reliable communication shall contribute to and strengthen constructive debate, even if the content or arguments might be controversial in themselves.


The information influence disrupts and weakens the functioning of society and our democratic discourse. Reliable communication is a natural part of our society which, although it can of course sometimes cause friction, bolsters our democracy.

The traditional picture of warfare has been erased. Today, there are other means for causing great harm to our society and our democracy that do not have to involve armed attacks. Malign information influence is a security threat whereby antagonistic foreign powers exploit society’s vulnerabilities to achieve their goals without having to resort to weapons. Instead, means are used such as disinformation, misleading information and propaganda to harm Sweden.

Information influence can exploit society’s vulnerabilities and challenge society’s functionality, our fundamental values such as democracy, rule of law and human rights and, ultimately, life and health.

The Psychological Defence Agency works with a long-term and preventive approach by providing training and exercises, conducting research and engaging in international cooperation. We study and develop methods, and disseminate knowledge. We identify and analyse attempts at malign information influence and stand prepared to act swiftly when needed. We also cooperate with other agencies and actors in Sweden – both for preventive and operational purposes.

You are a part of Sweden’s psychological defence. If you are able recognise and deal with disinformation, misleading information and propaganda, it will be more difficult for antagonistic foreign powers to cause division. This in turn helps protect Sweden and Swedish interests. The harder it is to fool you, the stronger our open, democratic society will be.

Learn the techniques – don’t be fooled External link.

When we are critical of sources, we assess and evaluate information rather than automatically accepting it as true. This means being aware that some sources are more reliable than others and that senders always have a purpose when conveying their messages. For example, antagonistic foreign powers or other threat actors may try to influence you by spreading disinformation and propaganda.

Check the source – source criticism checklist External link.

By being more aware and learning to recognise misleading information, you increase your resilience and reduce the risk of being inadvertently influenced. Disinformation relies on people sharing it, so be careful when sharing information, and be critical of sources. Always avoid sharing information that makes you feel hesitant.

Learn the techniques – don’t be fooled External link.

When Sweden is affected by serious incidents that can cause strains or crises in society – locally or nationally – you will find verified information from agencies and other responsible actors at Link to another website. External link.

On agencies’ websites, you will find verified information.

You can also call Sweden’s national information number, 113 13. Here you can obtain information in the event of serious accidents and crises in society. You can also call 113 13 to provide information yourself.