Ways to Keep You and Your Family Safe Online

Ways to Keep You and Your Family Safe Online


Hi there,

As we all spend more and more of our time online, it’s become clear that cybersecurity is no longer just a ‘tech’ issue – it’s at the heart of our daily lives. Whether it’s fuel pipelines, local hospitals or even our schools, the systems we rely on face constant threats of attacks — some of which have the potential to seriously disrupt our economy and our way of life.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so I wanted to take a moment to talk about ways you can keep you and your family safe and secure online. 

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Create Strong Passwords. Did you know the most common password is “password”? Followed by “123456”? Using your child’s name with their birthday isn’t much better. Create long, unique and/or randomly generated passwords and make sure you’re not recycling the same password.
  • Keep your devices updated. Bad actors will exploit flaws in the system. Be sure to update the operating system on your mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.
  • Think before you click. Hackers will use email attachments and links to deliver viruses to your computer. If you don’t recognize the sender, always be cautious when asked to open a file or enter personal information.
  • Take care of your personal information. Attackers pretending to be someone trustworthy will attempt to obtain your personal information. Remember to always trust your gut and only share personal information with secure and verified individuals.

Click here for more tips from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on how to keep your online information and accounts safe – with a particular focus on protecting against the ransomware attacks that have become increasingly common in recent months. I teamed up with CISA and broke out my acting skills to show you how to protect yourself from phishing attacks.


In Congress, I am committed to working on legislation that will strengthen our nation’s cyber defenses to protect our national security, economy, and infrastructure.

After the major attack on the Colonial Pipeline earlier this year, I introduced the CISA Cyber Exercise Act, a bipartisan bill that would help American businesses and governments test their critical infrastructure against the threat of cyber attacks, and would write into law the National Cyber Exercise Program, which tests the United States’ response plan for major cyber incidents.

I constantly hear from parents and teachers who are worried about protecting our students and schools from cyber threats. The K-12 Cybersecurity Act, which I helped introduce in the House, was signed into law by President Biden earlier this month.  This bill will help schools get the tools they need to protect our children and teachers from cyber attacks.

And lastly, the House Committee on Homeland Security approved my amendment to invest $60 million in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to help the federal government hunt down foreign cyber attackers. 

As cyber attacks become more and more common, it’s important we do everything we can to protect our information and ourselves online. Stay vigilant!

-Rep. Elissa Slotkin

News Digest – Week of Oct. 25, 2021

News Digest – Week of Oct. 25, 2021

Plus, surf the web securely with the new Michigan Secure app.

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News Digest – Week of Oct. 25, 2021

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Have a fun and safe Halloween!

This week’s stories may reflect how the Department of Natural Resources has adapted to meet customer needs and protect public health and safety. Follow our COVID-19 response page for updates on access to facilities and programs.

We’ll continue to share news and information about the best ways to discover and enjoy Michigan’s natural and heritage resources! Here’s a look at some of this week’s stories:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom.

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and others, are available in this folder.

Photo ambassador snapshot: Lake sunset at Interlochen

Interlochen State Park SunsetWant to see more pictures like this, taken by Michigan state parks photo ambassador Ken Jacobsen at Interlochen State Park in Grand Traverse County? Visit Instagram.com/MiStateParks to explore photos and learn more about the photo ambassadors! For more on the photo ambassador program, call Stephanie Yancer at 989-274-6182.

It’s Bat Week!

batsBat Week, the international celebration of bats, takes place this year Oct. 24-31 and is the perfect time to shine a light on these important species.

Michigan is home to nine species of bats, all of which are insectivores. During the evening hours, these flying mammals consume many insect pests including mosquitoes, beetles, moths and flies.

The DNR, along with numerous partners, works to conserve bats and bat habitat because many species are in decline.

White-nose syndrome is a deadly disease that affects North American bats primarily during their winter hibernation and has devastated many bat species. Infected bats prematurely awaken from hibernation, rapidly deplete their fat reserves and are unable to survive the winter. Bats with this syndrome often exhibit unusual behavior, like flying during daylight hours or gathering outside of caves in cold weather.

Learn about our efforts to conserve Michigan’s bats in our Wildlife Conservation Month story.

Here’s how you can help bats:

  • Plant a bat-friendly garden and minimize the use of insecticides.
  • Remove invasive species.
  • Install a bat house in a location not frequented by people.
  • Do not enter closed mines and follow decontamination guidelines to help reduce the spread of white-nose syndrome.

Learn more about bats and ways you can take action during Bat Week – and all year long – at BatWeek.org.

More information on Michigan’s bat species and ways to help is available at Michigan.gov/Bats.

Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

Salmon in the Classroom teachers readying for egg pickup

SIC It’s hard to imagine tiny Chinook salmon eggs will one day become the mighty, fighting fish that swim Michigan waters, but it’s a natural wonder that plays out year after year in the DNR’s Salmon in the Classroom program. Though the program raises and releases a relatively small number of fish, it does something just as important – it builds students’ respect and understanding of this very cool species.

Eggs for the SIC program were collected in early October. By mid-November they’ll become “eyed eggs,” meaning that you can actually see the fish eyes as they develop on each egg. At this point, the hardy eggs will be ready for teachers to pick up and transport back to classroom fish tanks. Some 300 teachers (third through 12th grades) and more than 30,000 students are participating this year.

DNR aquatic education coordinator Tracy Page said each classroom will mark the same milestones:

  • By early December, eggs will hatch into “sac fry” and live off their yolk sacs for a few weeks. By winter break, they should have absorbed their yolk sacs and begun feeding on provided food pellets.
  • Through winter and early spring, classes observe and feed the fish, test water quality and maintain the tanks. Teachers will use over 30 DNR-provided classroom activities to help students learn about Great Lakes ecology, invasive species, history and even art.
  • Schools begin releasing fish into approved waterways around the state by mid-April. Release days usually involve fun field trips, with education stations on casting/fishing, macroinvertebrate sampling (fish food), fish identification and other topics. Many community partners get involved, too, offering great experiences for the kids. All fish are released by
    June 1.

“This popular program is a highly interactive experience for teachers and students, who are involved in every aspect of raising the salmon and responsible for their survival and release,” Page said. “The kids are getting hands-on learning about science and seeing firsthand that they can make a positive difference on our natural world.”

Everyone can learn more about Salmon in the Classroom through a series of more than 50 videos that cover everything from full-class presentations on the history and life cycle of salmon, to brief looks at time-lapse hatching, water testing and fish tagging.

Classroom teachers interested in applying can do so between Jan. 1 and
April 15 each year.

Questions? Contact Tracy Page at 989-277-0630 or visit Michigan.gov/SIC.

Yes, the ban on baiting and feeding is still in effect

deerAs more hunters get into the woods for Michigan’s deer seasons, it’s important that everyone understands current regulations on baiting and feeding. Since Jan. 31, 2019, no baiting or feeding is allowed in the entire Lower Peninsula, a regulation approved by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission.

Deer and elk baiting and feeding also are prohibited in the core chronic wasting disease surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula, an area that includes portions of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties surrounding the farm where a deer tested positive for the deadly wildlife disease in October 2018.

“Most wildlife researchers and biologists agree that anything that congregates animals will increase the likelihood of transmitting diseases, including chronic wasting disease,” said Holly Vaughn, manager of the DNR Wildlife Division’s Public Outreach and Engagement Unit. “Left unchecked, CWD will further harm deer populations in Michigan and across the country, and that’s why it’s critical all hunters have the facts about baiting and feeding.”

Regulation highlights say that:

  • Baiting is allowed in all areas of the Upper Peninsula outside of the core CWD surveillance area.
  • The ban applies to both public and private land.
  • Feeding of birds and other wildlife for nonhunting purposes is allowed in areas where baiting and feeding are banned, as long as it is done in a way that keeps deer and elk from reaching the feed.

Get more details on baiting and feeding regulations at Michigan.gov/CWD.

Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

Tips to take care of your firewood

woodshedTemperatures are falling like leaves, and people across the state are stocking up on wood and firing up woodstoves and fireplaces. As cozy as fires can be, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Safe, efficient burning includes taking care of your firewood and your burning equipment.

Check out these resources from the EPA Burn Wise Program to learn more or order paper copies:

Find many more tips for burning wood at EPA.gov/BurnWise.

Keep mobile devices safer with Michigan Secure app

woman on phoneSince the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan residents have headed outdoors in record numbers, seeking space to spread out, exercise and relieve stress. Hunting and fishing, camping and several other outdoor recreation activities saw significant user increases last year and into 2021.

Understandably, many people also have turned to technology to make everyday activities like grocery shopping, banking and paying bills more efficient, less time-consuming and, perhaps most importantly, removed from traditional face-to-face contact in order to limit spread of the virus. DNR customers are part of that trend, too, going online to do things like purchase licenses, make campground reservations, find recreation safety classes, research park amenities and explore natural and historic sites.

The convenience is appealing, but when people take their buying and research efforts online – especially via mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, and local Wi-Fi – there are real-world security risks to consider. According to a recent RSA Fraud Quarterly Report, more than 40% of fraud occurs in mobile applications, and mobile security company Zimperium said that malware grew 118% between just the third and fourth quarters of 2020.

With the goal of helping residents stay safe on mobile devices, the State of Michigan created the Michigan Secure app, launched earlier this year. It’s free to download and free to use, with no in-app purchases or advertisements, and alerts you to unsafe apps in Android, system tampering and other suspicious activity, including:

  • Potentially unsafe email attachments and downloaded apps.
  • Phishing attempts to trick you into sharing personal information.
  • Unsecure Wi-Fi networks.

One of StateScoop’s IT Innovations of the Year, Michigan Secure is unlike other mobile security apps in that it does not collect any of your personal, private information.

Don’t get hooked by phishing scams and other mobile threats! Learn more about how Michigan Secure can keep you and your family safer online at Michigan.gov/MichiganSecureApp.

Media inquiries? Contact Michigan Cyber Security at DTMB-Michigan-Secure-App@Michigan.gov.


Archery deer season is in full swing, and regular firearm season is quickly approaching. There are plenty of choice lands to get out and enjoy, just make sure to know where to hunt and have your 2021 hunting license.


Looking to get hooked on a new hobby? Check out the DNR’s Programs for All page for a list of resources and programs to help you learn new skills, educate yourself or help your little ones get involved with natural resources.


Make use of those community service hours by volunteering at your local state park or recreation area. Stewardship days help keep these places healthy and thriving. Sign up today!

Ceremony announced for 163 MI HEARTSafe Schools

Ceremony announced for 163 MI HEARTSafe Schools

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Press Release


CONTACT: Chelsea Wuth, 517-241-2112, [email protected]

Virtual award ceremony announced for 163 MI HEARTSafe Schools during the 2020-2021 school year
649 schools receive designation in eight-year history

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan Department of Education (MDE), American Heart Association, Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY) will virtually celebrate 163 schools receiving the MI HEARTSafe School designation for the 2020-2021 school year on Oct. 28. Since the program began in 2013, 649 schools have earned this honor.

With schools returning to in-person instruction, preparation for cardiac emergencies has never been more important. This year, 163 schools are being recognized for efforts to keep up with preparedness activities during the 2020-2021 school year. There are 54 schools receiving the award for the first time.

To receive a MI HEARTSafe School designation, schools must have:

  • A written medical emergency response plan and team that can respond to an emergency during school hours and after-school activities and sports.
  • Current CPR/AED certification of at least 10 percent of staff and 50 percent of coaches, including 100 percent of head varsity coaches and physical education staff.
  • Accessible, properly maintained and inspected AEDs with signs identifying locations.
  • Annual cardiac emergency response drills.
  • Pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes using the current physical and history form endorsed by MHSAA.

“Sudden cardiac death claims the lives of more than 250 Michigan children and young adults every year,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Having schools prepared for cardiac emergencies can help decrease the number of these tragedies and prepare school employees to have the training necessary to respond in a timely manner and avert what could be a life-threatening situation.”

Keeping up with the MI HEARTSafe School criteria is vital for maintaining a safe environment for schools. Resources to help meet the criteria are available on the MI HEARTSafe School website. MAP-SCDY will also be hosting a virtual workshop in January to educate schools on how to become a MI HEARTSafe School.

“We are proud to support Michigan’s HEARTSafe schools,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Ensuring schools are prepared for sudden cardiac emergencies through planning, training and life-saving AEDs is an important part of having safer learning environments for students, staff and the community.”

This is MI HEARTSafe Schools program’s eighth year. A HEARTSafe designation lasts for three years, and 45 schools received their third MI HEARTSafe award this year. It is encouraging and commendable to have schools continue to renew the designation every three years. A total of 477 schools are designated as MI HEARTSafe Schools.

A list of participating schools is available online.

For more information about the MI HEARTSafe Schools program, visit Migrc.org/miheartsafe or email.

Whitmer Declares October 25 to October 31 as Rivalry Week

Whitmer Declares October 25 to October 31 as Rivalry Week

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Contact: [email protected]

October 27, 2021


Governor Whitmer Declares October 25 to October 31 as Rivalry Week 


LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer, two-time alumna of Michigan State University, declared October 25 to October 31 as Rivalry Week in honor of Saturday’s game between the undefeated Michigan State University Spartans and the undefeated University of Michigan Wolverines.


“Watching the Spartans and Wolverines battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy is one of our state’s greatest traditions,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Whether you dress in green and white or root for the maize and blue, we can all agree that this has been an exciting year for football. Unfortunately, University of Michigan’s undefeated streak will come to an end this Saturday in The Woodshed. I can’t wait to cheer on the Spartans! Tuck Comin’. Go green!”


“I am excited to watch the Wolverines continue their undefeated march towards the Big Ten Championship and beyond this Saturday,” said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Just like every year, this game is a great way for Michiganders to come together to acknowledge that the University of Michigan has the superior football program. It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine! Go Blue!”


Saturday’s noon football game marks the 114th meeting between the Michigan State University Spartans and the University of Michigan Wolverines. Although Michigan leads the head-to-head series overall 71-37-5, Michigan State has won nine of the last 13 match-ups.


Governor Whitmer is the proud mom of two Wolverines, but she always wears her true colors on gameday.


View the proclamation here.

Funding to Assist with Storm Recovery Efforts 

Funding to Assist with Storm Recovery Efforts 

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October 26, 2021

Contact: [email protected]


 Gov. Whitmer Approves Funding for Oakland and Macomb Counties to Assist with Storm Recovery Efforts


LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today approved $1.2 million in assistance for communities in Oakland and Macomb counties following severe thunderstorms, high winds and tornadoes in July. The funds were made available through the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund, which is used when communities demonstrate an exhaustion of local resources during a disaster or emergency.


“We are grateful to all first responders and local agencies throughout Oakland and Macomb counties who have worked tirelessly to keep people safe following multiple severe storms this summer,” said Governor Whitmer. “While these efforts have been successful, they have put a strain on local resources. That’s why I’ve approved additional money from this fund to help cover some of the costs related to response and recovery efforts, so that residents are not left on the hook for these unprecedented storm systems.”


The governor has approved these awards for White Lake Township, the Village of Armada, Armada Township, Farmington, Southfield, and Farmington Hills.




White Lake Twp


Village of Armada


Armada Twp


City of Farmington


City of Southfield


City of Farmington Hills





Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund awards can be applied toward the immediate prevention, response and recovery of a disaster or emergency, as well as cover overtime for public employees, contracts used during the response, shelter supplies, gasoline used during the response and repair of public buildings and infrastructure.


 “Our communities were hard hit this summer with intense storms, punishing winds and repeated power outages, so we’re particularly grateful that the Governor was so diligent in getting the federal emergency funding needed to help out White Lake, Farmington and Farmington Hills and Southfield,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “The support will allow these communities and its residents to recover from the devastating impact of these storms without breaking their budgets.”


“The emergency resources coming in from our state and federal partners is a testament to the community response we saw in Armada,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “From first responders to neighbor champions, the community continues to showcase its resilient spirit.”


On July 7, an intense line of thunderstorms with high winds struck the southwest area of Oakland County and traveled through southern Macomb County, leading to flooding, power outages, blocked roads, and damage to public and private property and infrastructure. On July 24, a tornado touched down in Armada Township, impacting both the township and Armada Village. On July 25, a severe thunderstorm and tornado caused widespread damage in White Lake Township. Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency for the cities of Farmington, Farmington hills and Southfield on August 2, and for White Lake, Armada Township, and the Village of Armada on August 5.