We take great pains to protect our valuable possessions. We put our money into banks for safe keeping, lock the doors to our homes and vehicles and carry insurance on a wide variety of our belongings.

Unfortunately, it appears we need to utilize some of those same habits to protect ourselves online.

According to state officials, there were more than 6,000 victims of cybercrime in Michigan in 2019, amounting to nearly $36 million lost to criminals.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and law enforcement and cyber security experts are taking the opportunity to urge residents and businesses to protect themselves from cyber criminals.

One of the most common tactics is “phishing,” which is an email that appears to come from a trusted source. Other ways your online security can be compromised is by visiting infected websites that unknowingly capture personal information. Businesses are often the target of criminals who share links that lock files until a ransom is paid.

Naturally, there are many things we can all do be more cyber secure, like using strong passwords for online accounts, regularly updating devices’ security software, not clicking on unsolicited links and using private settings for social media accounts.

The National Cyber Security Alliance says it’s also critical to raise community awareness on the subject and educate vulnerable audiences about cyber crimes. And, as the Alliance says, if everyone does their part, “our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.”