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Apr 18 2023

How to Stay Cyber Secure at Edmonton Music Festivals

In Edmonton, Alberta, it’s hard to find a day without live music. The city hosts diverse music venues that appeal to any age and represent any genre. From local acts to mainstream artists, there are always concerts and music festivals in Edmonton to attend.

Music events usually happen at night and in clubs, which can increase security risks such as theft or physical harm. Yet, people often forget cybersecurity is also a concern because they’re away from their computers. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. In the 2020s, most people are always near a computer. Mobile phones, smartwatches, ATMs, and more are all computers that hackers can exploit. 

This article will list 4 of the best Edmonton music festivals. We’ll also highlight cybersecurity risks and how you can protect yourself when attending these events.

1. Edmonton Folk Fest

Edmonton Folk Fest is the biggest summer music festival in Edmonton. Each year, the event takes place at Gallagher Park during the second weekend of August. The festival was first held in 1980 and today it’s one of the most popular of its kind in North America. 

Hackers target well-known festivals and collect attendee information from their ticketing systems. Famously, the personal information of 64,000 Tomorrowland attendees in Belgium was stolen through a ticketing system. 

Thankfully, this type of breach hasn’t hit Edmonton Folk Fest, but it’s a good idea to stay vigilant because of its name recognition. If you’re purchasing your tickets online, make sure it’s from an official source. 

You can also check the website for HTTPS encryption. This indicates that any information entered on the site is encrypted and more difficult for hackers to intercept.

Edmonton Music Festivals
To check a website’s HTTPS encryption, look for a lock icon or https:// directly before the address. See the example above. 

Pro-tip: Event runners can get managed IT support to help keep their website secure.

2. TD Edmonton Jazz Festival

In 2005, a group of local musicians and business owners collaborated with the Jazz Society of the Yardbird Suite to organize the “Yardbird Jazz Festival.” This festival consisted of 60 events and aimed to showcase the vibrant jazz scene in Edmonton. 

The “Yardbird Festival” was a success and it evolved into the TD Edmonton Jazz Festival we know today. The event is another one of Edmonton’s summer music festivals and it runs for 5 days.

The Edmonton Jazz Festival takes place in multiple venues. So, it’s important to keep an eye on the Wi-Fi security at each one. Never assume that public Wi-Fi is safe. If you must connect to it, avoid accessing sensitive information over the connection and use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

Ask an Edmonton IT Company For More Ways You Can Stay Secure on Public Wi-Fi

3. Edmonton Blues Festival

The Edmonton Blues Festival is a 3-day event that celebrates the blues genre. Since 1999, it has become a popular event for blues enthusiasts across the country. Catch it at the Heritage Amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park, a beautiful outdoor venue with a great backdrop for the music.

However, outdoor crowds can make it easier for criminals to use pocket scanners undetected. Pocket scanners extract information from mobile phones through RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags.

To protect yourself, stay aware of your surroundings and keep your phone in a secure place, such as a zipped pocket or bag. Additionally, an RFID-blocking phone case blocks pocket scanners from reading your phone’s radio frequencies.

Your employer may have spoken to an IT consultant about mobile phone best practices. If so, follow their advice vigilantly when you attend public events. 

4. Downtown Defrost

Downtown Defrost is an end-of-winter electronic music festival in Edmonton. This outdoor event at the Louise McKinney Riverfront Park occurs in early April alongside the city’s spring thaw. 

During the event, the park transforms into a lively dance party, complete with dazzling lights, stunning installations, and some of the most beloved local and international DJs.

If you’re dancing the night away and taking lots of selfies, your phone might start to run low on batteries. Be careful around public charging stations. These stations can be used for juice jacking. 

Juice jacking is a type of cyberattack where cybercriminals use a USB cable to access a device while it is charging. By doing this, they can steal data or install malware on the charging device.

Instead, bring your own portable charger to the event. However, you should never leave it unattended because hackers can also use found devices for juice jacking.

Read These Cyber Tips and Enjoy Edmonton’s Electronic Music Festivals Safely

How Can Businesses Secure Their Data When Employees Attend Music Festivals in Edmonton This Weekend?

As mentioned, if an employee’s personal device is compromised, it can potentially infect your company’s network. While it’s crucial to establish rigorous protocols and provide training, you ultimately have to rely on your employees to uphold standards.

Don’t leave anything up to chance. Partner with an established managed cybersecurity firm in Edmonton that can prevent any malware that your staff may have acquired during a music festival from infiltrating your network.

Yardstick Technologies offers 24/7 network monitoring to promptly detect any abnormal network behavior. If an employee inadvertently lets malware into your system, we’ll see it and stop it before it can cause any damage.

Yardstick’s other services include:

Book a meeting to start protecting your business today.

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