Fraud and Security Fraud and Security

Safe Online Practices for Consumers

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Staying Safe on Social Media

As social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter become more and more popular, they’ve also become a popular target for cyber criminals. Hackers are using these sites to distribute malicious software or learn critical information that helps them with identity theft.

It’s important to be cautious on social media to protect your privacy and safeguard against malware. Here are some tips to help you stay safe online:

  • Customize social media settings to maximize privacy. The default privacy settings for most social networking sites is to make everything public. If you only want friends to be able to see what you post, you need to check your settings and select that option. Sites like Facebook have a wide variety of settings that you can customize to your preferences. Social media sites often change privacy settings with little notice, so it’s a good idea to check your settings every six months and readjust as necessary.
  • Use (and don’t reuse) strong passwords. It’s tempting to use the same password for every site, but it’s best practice to have a unique password for each account. If someone hacks into LinkedIn and gets your password (which has happened), they won’t be able to log into your other accounts if each password is unique. Creating a strong password with capitalized letters, lowercase letters, numbers and characters will also help prevent hackers from compromising your account. Use an encrypted password vault program to easily track and secure them all.
  • Use security apps to guard your credentials. A lot of social media activity takes place on mobile phones. Don’t forget that your smart phone is really a smaller PC. Install a good mobile security program for your smart phone to help you vet malicious apps and never “jailbreak” or take the underlying security off your device. Turning GPS, Bluetooth and wireless connections off when not in use isn’t a bad idea either.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi to surf these sites. Criminals can set up public Wi-Fi hotspots that look like the official one at your favorite coffee shop or hotel lobby but aren’t. If you inadvertently log on to the fake Wi-Fi, it’s as though they’re looking over your shoulder and seeing everything you do online. It’s better to wait to log into Facebook or online banking when you’re at home or using your phone’s data plan.

One last tip—be careful about what you post on social media sites. Sometimes hackers can guess your security answers (pet’s name, mother’s maiden name, etc.) just by scrolling through your Facebook feed. Other times you may inadvertently advertise that you’re away from home (“Having a wonderful time in Florida this week!”) or reveal personal information like phone number, email address or location. The best defense against cyber criminals is to act with caution and make yourself a “hard” target.

Protecting your Privacy

Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some of how your personal information is shared. See how Pinnacle protects your personal data.

Stop Email Fraud

Pinnacle developed a list of the Super Six questions you can ask yourself to help determine the legitimacy of any email.

Trusteer Rapport

Trusteer Rapport will not be supported in Tennessee after Dec. 31, 2018. Instructions for uninstalling the software are available here.