Gov. Whitmer proclaims October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Michigan

Michigan

BERLIN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 16: A visitor tries out an Apple iPhone 7 on the first day of sales of the new phone at the Berlin Apple store on September 16, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. The new phone comes in two sizes, one with a 4.7 inch display, the other with a 5.5 inch display. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed October 2021 as Michigan Cybersecurity Month to showcase the importance of cybersecurity awareness among families and businesses around the state.

According to the FBI, Michigan residents and businesses have lost more than $165 million to cybercriminal activities, with an average victim loss of more than $19,479 according to the FBI.

“There has never been a more critical time to be mindful of your online activities and what you should do to ensure they are safe,” said Whitmer. “Cybercrime is on the rise, but everyone can protect themselves by following some simple steps and educating yourself on the tell-tale signs criminals use to deceive.”

This is the 11th consecutive year that October has been noticed as Michigan Cybersecurity Awareness Month. To help raise awareness of cybercrime, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) and the Michigan State Police (MSP) will be assisting by showing ways that people can be safe online.

During October, Michigan will also participate in the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign, a national public awareness initiative from the federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency. This initiative helps individuals understand the dangers of cyber threats as well as encourages them to be aware and more careful online.

“Cybercriminals can be relentless, but so too are our investigators,” said Col. Joe Gasper, Director of the Michigan State Police. “Today’s virtual environment provides new opportunities, both good and bad, making cyber vigilance and awareness all the more important.”

A new app, called Michigan Secure, is available free to Michigan residents from DTMB. The app serves as a way to protect and alert users if their mobile device, tablet, or Chromebook enters threats. With each alert, Michigan Secure offers advice on how to address the threat. 

“Nearly everyone in today’s society is interacting online for both personal and business use,” explained DTMB Director, Brom Stibitz. “These transactions don’t have to be scary as long as everyone takes a few minutes to learn how to stay safe.”

Residents interested in learning more about how to protect themselves and their families online by visiting the Michigan Cyber Initiative website at Michigan.gov/cybersecurity.

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