Markham, like so much of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), features a wide variety of musical talent and styles – and so many different opportunities to enjoy them! No matter what your music stylings may be, you’re bound to find the right fit for you at one of the many great Markham music festivals (see our list below).
But these music festivals aren’t all fun and games – the huge swell of people makes them attract a lot of bad actors looking to take advantage of people singing, dancing, and drinking. In the old days, you just had to worry about pickpockets snatching your wallet; in modern times, IT and data security are critical to keeping your digital wallet safe
With each festival we list here, we’ll talk about one of the more common IT risks at festivals – and how you can protect yourself!
The Best Markham Music Festivals and How to Avoid Common IT Risks
1. Markham Village Music Festival
The Markham Village Music Festival made its “live comeback” in 2022 – and was great, as usual.
Thousands came to enjoy the musical stylings of a great variety of performers, both local and international.
But while this is one of the best festivals the city has to offer, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of the IT risks.
One of those risks, speaking of, is unsecured WiFi access points at the summer music festival in Markham. If you’re using an unsecured WiFi access point, you may be vulnerable to having your personal information and browsing history captured by hackers when they connect to an open network.
With a VPN or your own personal WiFi network, you can reliably stay safe and make sure that no cyber criminals can get a hand on your data or otherwise break into your phone.
2. Markham Ribfest and Music Festival
Ribs and music may not seem like they go together all that much, but much like chicken and waffles, this was a combination we never knew we needed.
But while you’re snacking on ribs and hopping to beats, there’s still that pesky technology risk.
But they won’t necessarily be using any complicated hacking schemes to get their hands on your phone; they may literally just grab it.
Be aware of pickpockets trying to specifically go for your phone. While losing your wallet is of course less than ideal, if they get a hand on your phone, they can exploit data, personal info, credit card information, etc., to really damaging effect.
3. School of Rock Markham
While not technically a music festival, this popular local music program does put on plenty of shows – and you can catch budding local talent out and about in the city performing. In other words, School of Rock Markham represents a great way to support local musicians while having a great time at one of their shows.
Problem is, at any of these shows, you may run into a very sophisticated attempt to hack into your phone using a pocket scanner.
A pocket scanner is a small, easily concealed device that can scan the barcode or RFID tag of your device. They’ll be able to steal your information from your device and sell it online or on the black market.
Keep an eye out for anyone paying a bit too much attention to your belongings. If someone is scanning your phone or other devices with a pocket scanner, report the incident and keep away from them. You’ll also want to make sure to keep your devices locked when you’re not using them and never leave them unattended.
Image Credit: School of Rock Markham
4. Hispanic Fiesta
While it was cancelled in the past due to COVID, we’re hoping that Hispanic Fiesta makes a triumphant return in 2023.
If you love Latin music and the culture more broadly, then this is the place for you. But the big crows, fun atmosphere, and dazzling dancing can’t unfortunately keep away those determined criminals with an eye on your phone and data.
One issue, and this applies to every type of festival from Hispanic Fiesta to electronic music festivals in Markham, is to accept AirDrops or other devices to connect to your phone (like, say, when you turn on hotspot).
Allowing strangers’ phones to connect to your device leaves it very vulnerable to having your data mined and exploited or having malware placed on your phone that can watch (or even hear) what you do. In other words, make sure your phone only connects with trusted sources.
5. Markham Jazz Festival
Jazz – one of the most iconic music genres, and one that has had a powerful influence on all our most treasured artists in almost every genre. The Markham Jazz Festival never fails to deliver some of the best the genre has to offer.
But even at this Markham electronic music festival, your technology is not safe.
For instance, let’s say you hear a great artist and want to download their music. Awesome! But be careful about using sketchy sites or unknown sources: it’s important to make sure that the files are actually what you want to download.
Otherwise, you may end up with malicious software (malware) on your phone that can lead to some serious consequences down the line (like having your information leaked or important data stolen).
So when you’re enjoying your favourite Markham summer music festival (jazz or no jazz) be sure to double-check any files and their sources before downloading them to your phone.
6. Bonus Tip!
We listed the top 5 music festivals in Markham, but since we have one more important IT tip to share, we figured we’d throw it in here as a bonus – we’re that dedicated to keeping you and your technology safe during these events!
You never, ever want to leave your phone alone with a stranger. While this may seem like common sense, common sense can get a bit blurry at the festival in the midst of music, alcohol, dancing, lights, movement, crowds . . .
You can install antivirus software to help counteract any potential threats, but if someone who you don’t know wants to look at your phone for an extended period of time, they aren’t likely doing anything harmful. But, on occasion, you will run into someone who is keen on downloading malware or other malicious software onto your phone that can really cause a problem down the line.
Protecting All Your End-Point Devices With a Top Managed Service Provider
Image Credit: Pexels
If you’re a business owner and you, or any of your employees are headed to a music festival in Markham this weekend, it’s critical that you’re aware of the risks associated with their (or your) device falling victim to a cybercrime.
Just one hacked smartphone means that the entirety of your company’s data could be instantly compromised, opening up a whole cornucopia of liability and monetary damages.
Here at Kearns Technology Inc., we have decades of experience protecting our clients’ mobile data security – and we’d be happy to do the same for you or your business.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help protect you, schedule a free consultation with us today and we can diagnose your specific needs together!
Featured Photo Credit: Markham Village Music Festival