Category Archives: Public Safety Announcement (PSA)
Shop Safe on Cyber Monday

Online shopping has become the preferred purchasing method for customers who want to avoid in-store crowds during the holidays. While the Internet offers convenience, it also gives hackers the chance to access the personal and financial information of unsuspecting shoppers.

Don’t let the ease of online shopping ruin your Cyber Monday activities onNovember 30. The Department of Homeland Security offers tips to stay safe while shopping online, including:

  • Use secure websites for purchases;
  • Shop with companies you know and trust;
  • Keep personal information private and passwords secure; and
  • Use anti-virus software, a firewall, and anti-spyware software.

Cyber security is a shared responsibility. Visit the DHS Stop.Think.Connect. website for more ways to make using the Internet a safer experience this gift-giving season and throughout the year.

Source: U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Winter Care for Older Adults

Older adult

Winter is an important time to check on older adult family members, friends, and neighbors to ensure they stay safe throughout the season. In addition to colder temperatures and snow, winter weather can bring an increased risk of health problems and injuries to older adults.

The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness offers tips to considerwhen helping older adults this winter:

  • Falls are a concern for everyone, especially for older adults. Putting road salt, cat litter, or sand on sidewalks, steps, and driveways will make these areas as slip-free as possible. Non-slip shoes are also a great way to help older adults navigate slippery conditions.
  • Cold temperatures make older adults susceptible to hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature. Learn the warning signs of this weather related illness and how to prevent it.
  • Shoveling can put too much strain on the heart. Older adults, especially those with heart disease or high blood pressure, should leave snow shoveling to others.

If you do not live near your older adult family members, it may be helpful to create a plan about how you’ll connect with them during an emergency. Download and complete the Family Emergency Communication Plan fromAmerica’s PrepareAthon! and share it with your family today.

Source: U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Reduce Your Risk of Identity Theft

Did you know there is one new victim of identity theft every three seconds in the United States? Identity theft is when someone uses your identifying information such as name, date of birth, social security number, credit card number, etc. to obtain goods, services, credit or open fraudulent bank accounts.

Awareness and education are the first steps in preventing identity theft. By safeguarding your personal information, you can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim.

Here are some ways you can protect your identity:

  • Never give out identifying information in response to unsolicited offers by phone, mail, Internet or in-person.
  • Order and review your credit report yearly to check for unauthorized activity. You are entitled to one free credit disclosure in a 12-month period. To request a free credit report, visit Central Source at www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.
  • Review financial and credit card statements monthly for unauthorized charges.
  • Cross shred documents (i.e. receipts, insurance forms, bank and credit card statements, cash advance checks, etc.) containing personal identifiers before discarding.
  • Remove mail from the mailbox as soon as possible. Place your mail delivery on hold at the post office while out of town.
  • Be aware of where your personal identification is kept at work and at home, and know who has access to it.
  • Protect your wallet and/or purse – never leave them unattended. Limit the number of credit cards you carry and don’t carry your PIN or social security card in your wallet and/or purse.
  • Treat checkbooks, ATM cards, credit cards and credit card offers as cash. Cancel unneeded credit cards.
  • Don’t put your social security number, phone number or date of birth on your checks.
  • When using the Internet to make purchases, look for the “s” in the address (https) to ensure it is a secure site.

For more information about how to prevent identity theft and what steps to take if you are a victim, visit www.michigan.gov/identity-theft.

Smart Phone Theft Prevention Tips

3924847124_d81a59fa0e_bPlease be aware of the going problem of smartphone theft. Referred to as ‘iCrime’ or ‘Apple Picking’, criminals are targeting individuals by unsuspectingly snatching their iPhone or Android phone from their hands. The theft typically occurs when the person is engaged in their smartphone activities, unaware of their surroundings. The following tips to help residents avoid becoming a target for this crime: Continue Reading →

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