The bad news is that for an undetermined period of time ending in December of 2022, identity thieves had the ability to bypass Experian security to view consumer’s credit reports, having only an individual’s address, birthday, name, and social security number. Some of this personal information may have been contained in an unrelated 2017 Equifax breach, which contained this information on more than 45 million adults. The good news is that the flaw in the Experian website that allowed the breach has been corrected and is no longer active. The breach provides a good reminder of the importance of keeping private data private, and the impact in the event of a privacy breach. Here are two recommendations to help protect yourself from data breaches: activating “freezes” on your credit reports and pulling your credit reports on a regular, periodic basis.
Learn more about taking control of your credit and digital identity from T.J. Fields below.
Oakland County is home to eight “u-cut” tree farms. Enjoy the holiday tradition of cutting your own tree whether it’s your first adventure or an annual tradition. Check out our interactive map and full list to find the best tree farm for you:
The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s a great time to enjoy special meals with loved ones. Whether you’re a pro at hosting the holiday meal or this will be your very first time, it’s important to follow and practice food safety tips. Oakland County Health Division put together a helpful list of safety tips that includes cleaning, separating, cooking, and chilling your food.
Clean: Wash your hands with soap and water before, during, and after preparing food.
Separate: Keep meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods at the grocery store and in the refrigerator. Prevent juices from dripping or leaking onto other foods by keeping them in containers or sealed plastic bags.
Cook: Cook food thoroughly. Meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs can carry germs that cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to ensure these foods have been cooked to a safe internal temperature. Keep food out of the danger zone between 40°F and 140°F where bacteria can grow rapidly. After food is prepared, keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
Chill: Refrigerate or freeze any perishable food within 2 hours.
Holiday Meal Safety Tips:
Turkey and stuffing are festive favorites, but they come with additional food safety concerns. Keep your holidays healthy by following extra precaution when preparing and serving holiday staples and don’t forget the four steps to food safety for your entire feast.
Cooking a turkey requires planning and preparation; get started using these tips from the USDA.
Buy the turkey a few days before you plan to cook it.
Refrain from buying a pre-stuffed turkey. USDA recommends only buying frozen pre-stuffed turkeys that display the USDA or State mark of inspection on the packaging.
Thaw turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water (change the water every 30 minutes), or in the microwave. Avoid thawing foods on the counter. A turkey must thaw at a safe temperature to prevent harmful germs from growing rapidly.
Remember that thawing the turkey takes 24 hours in the refrigerator for every four to five pounds, and cold water thawing takes 30 minutes per pound.
Be sure the turkey is completely thawed before cooking.
Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 ºF.
Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan 2-2 1/2 inches deep.
Cook stuffing separately from the turkey for optimum safety.
Check the internal temperature with a food thermometer and ensure it is at least 165 ºF.
Let the bird sit for 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving.
Cook all stuffing and dressing to a minimum temperature of 165 ºF, whether it is cooked inside or outside the bird. For optimum safety, cooking your stuffing in a separate casserole dish is recommended.
Prepare and put stuffing in the turkey immediately before it’s placed into the oven.
Mix wet and dry ingredients for the stuffing separately and combine just before using.
Stuff the turkey loosely, about 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey.
Bake any extra stuffing in a greased casserole dish.
In the event of an emergency, it is critically important for you to be prepared and informed. Oakland County‘s emergency notification system, OakAlert, empowers residents to be aware of extreme incidents throughout the county, such as:
Chemical spills impacting public health
Outdoor warning siren activation (will not include other weather watches, warnings, or advisories)
Active assailant situations causing an evacuation or shelter-in-place orders
Significant road closures such as a highway closure, not lane closures or daily traffic incidents
Closure or interruption in service of county operations
Additional notifications affecting the health and safety of the county
It takes just 90 seconds to sign up and could be the difference in how you face the next emergency.
Being out on the water is one of the best parts of summer, but it is vitally important to stay safe while you are swimming. Take a look at these swimming safety tips before taking a dip in your favorite lake or pool.
To find a beach, swimming pool, splash pad, or waterpark near you, check out our our recently updated interactive map or list below.