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The Flint Courier News recognizes Cyber Monday coming Nov. 28, after Black Friday-with tips and laptop giveaway!

As we approach the holiday shopping season, many might be wondering about keeping safe while shopping online and receiving purchases at home. Below are six tips to help you do both, provided by Rob Ponto, sr. manager, Public Relations for Comcast.

6 Tips for keeping safe while shopping online and receiving purchases at home

 When ordering holiday gifts online:

Shop at home for the holidays and take steps to secure your home network.  Remember, a secure network connection – like in most homes – is ideal.  Public Wi-Fi can be hacked by someone with the right tools, exposing your passwords, billing information and other sensitive data. Also, set a strong password for both your Wi-Fi home network and any smart device that connects to it. Do not keep your network or devices on the default settings and don’t use identifiable passwords like your name or address. Finally, download the latest security software updates from your internet provider. Power cycling your internet equipment will usually download the needed updates.

Protect yourself with extra layers of security. Xfinity Internet customers have access to free security tools like multifactor authentication and xFi Advanced Security, which monitor and help protect all the devices connected to your xFi Gateway from online threats. When you use xFi Advanced Security, you will receive alerts about threats that were automatically blocked on your network and a daily list of digital security-related actions that were taken that day.

Use a credit card as opposed to a debit card. There are laws to limit your liability for fraudulent credit card charges, but you may not have the same level of protection for your debit cards. Additionally, because a debit card draws money directly from your bank account, unauthorized charges could leave you with insufficient funds to pay other bills.

The package is on its way – but be careful. There are a lot of scams that look like UPS, USPS or FedEx, encouraging you to enter a lot of personal information for updated shipping details, and these emails can look legitimate. Scrutinize these emails and trust your instincts. Look closely at any email you receive about shipping and if there is any doubt, always reach out directly to the retailer through an alternative method.

When holiday packages arrive at your door:

Your package has arrived! How do you make sure it stays safe if you’re not home? Discrete door-mounted cameras, like the Ring doorbell or Xfinity Self Protection system, can be effective. Look for camera systems that offer 24/7 video recording and storage as well as the ability to view live videos, take pictures and manually record clips.

Know your neighbors – after all, it is the holidays. If you live in a neighborhood with friendly neighbors, keep your eyes peeled as packages are being delivered and coordinate with each other to pick up your boxes if you expect to be at work, away for the day or out of town.

The Flint Courier News is giving away five Dell Latitude laptops to our readers this Cyber Monday, Nov. 28.

Broderick Johnson, Comcast executive vice president, Public Policy, and executive vice president, Digital Equity, gifts a laptop to a Detroit digital navigator this past June. Digital navigators are individuals affiliated with trusted community organizations who are trained to help people access the internet, use devices, and build digital skills. Photo by Santa Fabio.

To be considered, readers only need to tell the Courier why they need and deserve them.

“It’s important to be online on a good device to have access to telehealth, to scholarships, to job opportunities and lifelong learning,” said Ponto.

According to Ponto, the obstacle Americans are facing is not internet access. Ponto said the true challenge is getting households to adopt broadband service. High-speed broadband service is available across virtually every corner of the state of Michigan. There are multiple reasons homes are not getting internet despite having access in their communities.

“There are three barriers to digital adoption,” he stated. “Those are the price of service, lack of a device in the home and access to digital skills. We’ve been trying to break down that price barrier through our Internet Essentials Program and our education of the Affordable Connectivity Program. With digital skills, we have Lift Zones in the city of Flint and partner with nonprofit organizations. So, we’re interested in digital skills adoption through that. Lack of a device is another barrier.”

For this reason, Comcast has offered five laptops for five Flint Courier News readers.

To request consideration for one of five Dell Latitude laptops, call 810-234-8770, email theflintcouriernews@gmail.com or write to 109 Welch Blvd, Flint, MI 48503.

 

 

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