Shopping safety tips offered

Published 9:44 am Thursday, December 3, 2015

We hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a safe one. Now with the Christmas season and shopping staring us in the face, we cannot forget to stay safe during this joyous time.

I’m sure many have seen the video footage of “Black Friday” shopping incidents. Many may have opted for “Cyber Monday” or just shopping anytime online. I would like to remind all that even in the safety of your own home, you still need to be safe and security minded.

As of mid-October, Michigan residents and businesses had lost more than $20 million to cyber criminals this year, according to Michigan State Police. The average loss per victim was around $4,500.

“Our lives today are more connected than ever before,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director of the Michigan State Police. “Cyber-security threats continue to advance and cybercriminals are constantly evolving their tactics, which means we must take appropriate steps to protect our personal and business information when we’re online.”

We encourage residents to practice good cyber hygiene by taking the following steps:

• Only connect to the internet over secure, password-protected networks.

•Don’t click pop-ups and never open attachments or respond to emails from strangers.

• If unsure of the sender, type a website manually rather than clicking a link.

• Don’t respond to online requests for personally identifiable information. Organizations that would need that information rarely will ask for it to be provided via the internet.

• Review privacy settings on social media accounts and limit who you share information with.

• Trust your intuition. If you think an offer is too good to be true, then it probably is.

• Use a password to protect all user accounts and devices that connect to the internet.

• Do not use the same password twice. Choose a password that means something to you and you only and change it on a regular basis.

• If something seems suspicious, report it to authorities.

For more information on how to stay safe online, visit will continue with more tips next week.


For questions or comments please contact me at or call 269-683-4411.