Safe Online Practices for Consumers

Fraud and Security

Treat Mobile Payment Apps Just Like Real Money

Mobile payment apps like Venmo, Cash App and Zelle make it easy to send money virtually between friends and family. Just download the app, set up a free account, connect it to your bank account or debit card, and voila! You can pay your babysitter, reimburse a friend for picking up groceries or chip in for a group birthday gift. Easy, right? Yes, as long as you treat it like cash, because there are no strings attached. "Cash" sent through a mobile payment app can’t easily be retrieved or refunded if you send it to the wrong person or don’t receive what you paid for.

How to Spot a Money Scam

You may have learned to spot a scam that’s phishing for your personal identifying information, like your social security number or birthdate, but some scams are just out to take your money right then and there. Even worse, when tricksters con you into completing a voluntary transaction, even under false pretenses, it’s extremely hard to retrieve your money. It’s important to be familiar with the common types of scams designed to separate you from your money.

Password Management

If you do any amount of business online or through mobile apps, you’re familiar with password protection. It can be pesky, but passwords are part of life, and they’re absolutely critical for keeping your private information secure. The “old” way of keeping track on a post-it note or a document on your computer was never really secure. Here's our advice for managing and remembering all those complex passwords.

It's Time to Change Your Password

The first of the year is a good time to make New Year resolutions, put fresh batteries in your home smoke detectors and, most importantly, change your online passwords.

Protect Yourself When Shopping Online this Holiday Season

A record number people are turning to online shopping for holiday gifts. IBM’s most recent U.S. Retail Index Report indicates that the pandemic has sped up the shift from in-store to online shopping by about five years. Just as people take protective measures to stay well this season, shoppers should take precautions before clicking enticing offers for holiday deals.

How to Avoid Identity Theft While Shopping Online

Credit card fraud and identity theft is a reality in today’s economy. According to the 2013 Norton Report, 552 million consumer identities were stolen from retailer data breaches and that number is projected to grow in 2014. Here are a few tips to help protect you and your good name this holiday season.

Cyber Security: Beware of Social Engineering to Protect Your Password

Not all security breaches are data leaks, hacked databases or callers claiming to need private information. Sometimes it can even feel like fun. If you’ve ever taken a quiz online like “Which Harry Potter character are you?” or posted answers to questions about your teen years, you may have fallen prey to social engineering.

Cyber Security Webinar | Email Inspection

Mindless clicking of email links is an extremely dangerous action. This cyber security series by Jeremy Hopwood, chief information security officer at Pinnacle Financial Partners, explores email inspection -- Discipline vs. Negligence. We will take a deeper dive in how to analyze emails and quickly determine if we need to take action.

Cyber Security Webinar | Understanding Ransomware

This cyber security workshop series by Jeremy Hopwood, chief information security officer at Pinnacle Financial Partners, explores the anatomy of a hyperlink. We will take a closer look at how to analyze a hyperlink and quickly determine if it is a safe link.

Cyber Security Webinar | Understanding Business Email Compromise (BEC)

This cyber security workshop series by Jeremy Hopwood, chief information security officer at Pinnacle Financial Partners, explores how to identify a business email compromise and how to avoid being a victim of cyber criminals.

Cyber Security Webinar | Social Media Security

Email and hyperlinks are not the only area in the digital world where we need to proceed with caution. We also need to be aware when we are posting and exploring on Social Media platforms. This cyber security workshop series by Jeremy Hopwood, chief information security officer at Pinnacle Financial Partners, identifies ways to keep safe when we are online.

Cyber Security Webinar | Tips If You Have Been Compromised

Help I've been hacked! This cyber security workshop series by Jeremy Hopwood, chief information security officer at Pinnacle Financial Partners, offers tips if you believe or have reason to believe that you have been compromised by a cyber hacker or cyber criminal.

Cyber Security Webinar | Staying Safe In Your Digital World (Group Banking Links)

Cyber breaches are all too common in today's digital world. Protecting your data and assets should be a priority. This cyber security workshop series by Jeremy Hopwood, chief information security officer at Pinnacle Financial Partners, explores several key cyber security topics and tips to help better protect you and keep you from becoming a victim.

Online Tax Prep and Filing: How to Keep Yourself Safe

Your taxes involve every aspect of your financial life. The last thing you want is to make yourself vulnerable to crooks and hackers when submitting your financial information. If you plan to file online or use tax prep software, heed these tips first.

FBI Tips to Better Protect You from Cyber Crime

Almost daily Pinnacle’s team of financial advisors hear from clients that their email accounts have been compromised and contacts and other information have been stolen. We recently hosted a workshop in partnership with the FBI to help educate our clients on ways they can better protect themselves from cyber criminals. Along with FBI Supervisory Special Agent Scott Augenbaum of the Memphis Cyber Crime Investigations Team we gave the following tips to help both consumers and small business owners better protect themselves from cyber criminals.

Is Cybersecurity A Top Priority?

The federal government is making cybersecurity a top priority and even launched a website, Onguard Online (, to provide practical tips to help keep you safe online. The website calls for public-private partnerships to keep the nation secure from cyber threats, but it also recognizes the role individuals play to protect themselves online. Cyber thieves use many ploys while people are at home or at work.

Don't be an Easy Target for Online Criminals

Unfortunately, cyber crime happens all too often, but you can help prevent it from occurring in the future. Here are nine ways that you can protect yourself and your business from malicious online criminals.

Protect Yourself from a Data Breach

In today’s environment chances are good that your card information could be compromised in the future. Here’s what to do if you’re a consumer, a merchant or another type of small business to protect yourself from a security breach.

Keep Your PC Up to Date

Microsoft recently announced a fix for a security flaw in its Internet Explorer browser. Find out what you need to do now and in an ongoing basis to protect your computer.

Staying Safe on Social Media

Social networking sites have become a popular target for cyber criminals. Hackers can use these sites to distribute malware or glean personal information. Here are some tips to help you stay safe online.

5 Things to Know about Identity Theft

The number of identity theft victims goes up every year. Here are five things you need to know about identity theft and what you can do to avoid becoming a statistic.

[Webinar] How to Understand Hyperlinks

This 7-minute webinar will teach you about the anatomy of hyperlinks and how that information can be used to determine if a hyperlink is legitimate.

How to Avoid Email Scams

Unfortunately, as phishing attacks become more sophisticated, it is very difficult for the average person to tell if a message is fraudulent. Pinnacle developed a list of the "Super 6" questions you can ask yourself to help determine the legitimacy of any email.

Podcast: 5 Ways to Protect Your Phone or Tablet from Cyber Threats

Most people are careful about security on their computers but don’t realize that protection for mobile phones and tablets is just as important. Listen to this podcast for tips on securing your mobile device.

8 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Device

Many of us can’t imagine life without our mobile phones. While they are certainly convenient, they can pose a security risk if users aren’t careful. Here are several ways you can protect your phone or tablet from cyber threats.

Podcast: 5 Tips to Reduce Fraud

Do you throw personal financial information in the trash? Can cyber criminals access your PC at home or work? Do you give out confidential information by e-mail or over the phone? Learn more about your potential risks and how you can make yourself a “hard” target rather that an easy one.

The Anti-Virus "Scareware" Challenge

If you’ve spent much time browsing the Internet you understand how quickly high-traffic websites will bombard you with pop-up ads for unwanted products and links. Learn more about fake anti-virus threats and how to avoid them.

Protect Your Personal Computer From Cyber-Threats

Keeping your privacy secure while using the Internet is essential to preventing your personal information from ending up in the wrong hands. Read this to find out how.

Security Procedures for Online Account Holders

Evidence is mounting that cyber crimes are increasing. We’ve heard about the elevated risk from law enforcement and security experts. With the growth in malware and ability for fraudsters to load virus programs on unsuspecting client computers, the need for heightened awareness and protection is of extreme importance.

FTC Identity Theft Guide: What are the Signs?

The best way to detect identity theft is to monitor your accounts and bank statements each month, and check your credit report on a regular basis.

Keeping Your Identity Secure on Vacation

Tourists are especially vulnerable to ID theft. However, there are ways to protect yourself and your family as you travel.

FTC Identity Theft Guide: How Identity Theft Happens

The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. The first of our 4-part series on identity theft describes common ways it occurs.

FTC Identity Theft Guide: Protect Yourself

Nothing can guarantee that you won't be affected by fraud or identity theft, but you can take specific steps to minimize your risk.

FTC Identity Theft Guide: How to Recover

Most victims can resolve their cases by being assertive, organized and knowledgeable about their legal rights.

How to Obtain Your Free Credit Report

Each of the major nationwide consumer reporting companies is required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Here’s how to get it.

Red Flags: Watch for These Signs of Identity Theft

Banks have formal policies for identifying and responding to identity theft “red flags,” but you can also monitor your accounts.

Making Cybersecurity a Priority

The federal government has called cyber threats one of the most serious challenges the nation faces. Find out what you can do to protect yourself online.

How to Avoid a Ponzi Scheme

Here are some tips for making sure you don’t become a victim of investment fraud.

Destroy Data before Replacing Your PC

If you’re getting rid of an old computer or laptop, take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your identity.

Protecting Yourself from Pharmers

Follow these tips to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of this prevalent online scam.

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