Info-tech - protection of private data

Navigating the Digital Age: How to Protect Your Private Data

Data privacy has become an increasingly important issue in recent years, as more and more personal information is being collected and shared online. With the rise of social media, e-commerce, and other digital platforms, it has become easier than ever for companies and individuals to collect and store vast amounts of data about individuals.

Unfortunately, this has also made it easier for data breaches and other cyber threats to occur. In this article, we will explore some of the best practices that everyone should be following to protect their personal information and maintain personal data privacy.

Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect your personal data is by using strong passwords and enabling two-factor authentication. A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring a code or token in addition to a password, making it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your accounts.

Keep your software up-to-date

Another important step in protecting your data is keeping your software up-to-date. This includes your operating system, web browser, and any other software you use on a regular basis. Updates often contain security patches that address vulnerabilities and protect you from potential threats.

In addition, keeping software up-to-date is essential for businesses to ensure security, compatibility, functionality, compliance, and cost-effectiveness. By regularly updating their software, businesses can minimize the risk of cyber threats, improve performance, and stay competitive in today’s digital landscape.

IT consultation services can help businesses keep their software up-to-date. IT consultants can work with businesses to assess their current software and identify areas where updates are needed. They can help develop a strategy for keeping software up-to-date, including scheduling regular updates, testing software compatibility, and ensuring proper security measures are in place.

Be careful with public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient, but they’re also risky. When you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, your data can be intercepted by hackers. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive activities like online banking or shopping. If you must use public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your data and protect your privacy.

Don’t overshare on social media

Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it’s important to be careful about what you share. Avoid sharing sensitive information like your home address, phone number, or financial information. Also, be cautious of who you add as a friend and what you post on their pages.

Use encryption for sensitive data

Encryption is the process of converting data into a code to prevent unauthorized access. If you’re storing sensitive data like financial information or personal documents, make sure it’s encrypted. Many cloud storage providers offer encryption as an option, so be sure to check your settings.

Back Up Your Data

Regularly backing up your data is important in case of a data breach or other cyber threat. Make sure you’re backing up your data to a secure location, and that you’re following best practices for data backups.

In addition, backup and recovery services are essential for any businesses to protect critical data, ensure business continuity, comply with regulations, minimize costs, and provide peace of mind. By investing in a reliable backup and recovery service, businesses can minimize the risk of data loss and ensure their operations continue in the event of an unexpected disruption.

Use anti-virus software and a firewall

Anti-virus software and a firewall are essential tools for protecting your computer from malware and other threats. Antivirus software scans your computer for viruses and other malicious software, while a firewall blocks unauthorized access to your computer. Make sure both are installed and updated regularly.

Be Wary of Third-Party Apps

Third-party apps are apps that are not created by the company that provides the underlying platform. For example, many Facebook games and quizzes are created by third-party developers. These apps often ask for permission to access your personal information, and it’s important to be careful about which apps you allow access to your data. Make sure you’re comfortable with the information the app is requesting before granting permission.

Read privacy policies

When signing up for a new service or downloading an app, be sure to read the privacy policy. This will give you an idea of what data is being collected, how it’s being used, and who it’s being shared with. If you’re not comfortable with the data privacy policy, don’t use the service.

Use a password manager

Password managers are a great way to keep your passwords secure and organized. Instead of using the same password for multiple accounts, a password manager generates and stores unique passwords for each account. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your accounts.

Be aware of phishing scams

Phishing scams are a common way for hackers to gain access to your personal data. These scams often come in the form of emails or text messages that appear to be from a legitimate source. Be cautious of clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.

Delete old data

Finally, it’s important to regularly delete old data that you no longer need. This includes old emails, documents, and other files. The less data you have stored, the less vulnerable you are to potential threats.


In conclusion, data privacy is an important issue that everyone should take seriously. By following these best practices, you can protect yourself and your sensitive information from potential threats. Remember to always be vigilant and stay up-to-date.

Don’t let cyber threats compromise the security and reputation of your business. Protect your data and systems by partnering with our cybersecurity consulting services. Our team of experts will help identify vulnerabilities in your network, implement effective security measures, ensure regulatory compliance, and provide ongoing support to keep your systems secure. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and how we can help safeguard your business from cyber threats.

What Does Server Management Consist Of?

Companies and businesses can no longer get away with storing sensitive information solely on paper. Technological and digital advancements have enabled the creation of powerful servers and cloud applications, which can be accessed virtually from any location, provided that you have the right connection.

Servers not only store information; they also play an important role in the flow of communication between companies and individuals. They are not, however, failsafe or tamper-proof.

Servers require regular maintenance so that they can operate at their maximum capacity, while at the same time remaining secure and free from threats and cyberattacks. This falls into the category of server management experts.

Keep reading to learn more about what server management typically consists of.

What Is Server Management?

Server management entails maintaining and monitoring servers, so that they can operate optimally, while at the same time remaining safe from attacks and unauthorized penetrations.

During a typical server management system process, the experts will mainly focus on the software, hardware, security, and backup components of the server.

The main objectives of a server management service include minimizing downtime, and slowdowns, creating a secure server environment, and ensuring that the server operates optimally, and with the ability to continuously meet the demands of the establishments that it serves.

What Are Server Management Services?

Managing servers has a huge impact on the overall performance of the entire IT infrastructure. Whatever happens within the servers, impacts nearly everything that a given department handles.

Here is a brief look at specific details that are generally considered during a typical server management exercise:

Hardware Management

Effective server management begins with the right hardware. The proper functioning of every aspect of a server is always based on the proper functioning of the hardware.

The most common hardware components of a server that are checked during a maintenance exercise, include the hard disks, RAM, the central processing unit, and other components that connect through the motherboard.

During hardware management, the experts will monitor these resources individually, and optimize them accordingly, to minimize the possibility of overworking any of the available resources.

Software and OS Update Installation and Management

Servers depend on software to function. As such, the software powering each server, is also subject to constant monitoring and maintenance.

The software usually requires regular updates not only for optimal operations, but also to mitigate threats that may be targeting it.

Security Updates

Security is an essential aspect of every IT infrastructure, and this includes servers. A server management system will be featured in every management exercise, with the following key concerns:

  • Installing security patches to further secure the server
  • Installing and updating the antivirus software
  • Encryption of sensitive data storage
  • Setting up password policies and access control
  • Installing log, SIEM, and SOC monitoring protocols
  • Incorporating any other tools and procedures required by the relevant compliance authorities, and the industry’s best practices

Data Backups

Data backup is a critical concern for most companies and businesses. Data is expensive to acquire, and some are so vital that companies cannot afford to lose them.

The loss or destruction of data has the potential to cripple the company’s operations, until the data is recovered.

For these reasons, a typical server management system will include regular data backups, to ensure that the organization will always have access to its vital data whenever it is needed.

Who Needs Server Management?

If your business operates servers, whether physical or virtual, then you are a candidate for server management system services.

The services required may sometimes be direct or indirect. The differences between the services you require will be determined primarily by the type of server that you have. This does not, however, apply to clients who run shared hosting or managed virtual server hosting, since there are always third-party service providers, tending to the server management needs of such clients.

If you operate a private virtual server, then your server management requirements may be mixed. The hardware aspects of the management will remain under the control of the third-party provider. The software, however, may be partly or wholly managed by the customer.

Benefits of Server Management

If you are wondering whether managing servers professionally is really important, then here is a brief look at some of the benefits you will enjoy:

Round-the-clock monitoring

With server management services, you will be assured of round-the-clock monitoring. This will ensure that issues are detected before they occur, and in case of any problems, they will be resolved before they cripple the operations of the organization.

Professional security management

Continuous professional server administration will help ensure that the server is well-protected from both internal and external threats.

Once you deploy proper server management services, all the security aspects of the server will be up-to-date, leaving very little room for exploitation by hackers and other cybercriminals.

Server Audits

Regular check-ups on the server will provide vital insights into the performance of the server, as well as offer guidance on future server strategies.

With a good server management service provider, you will receive regular audit reports for more informed decision-making.

Easy scalability

It is possible to create a more flexible IT environment by simply adding new elements to your server.

If you are using the services of a professional server management company, then you can easily install new IT infrastructure, leading to minimal downtime, and quick implementation.

Other benefits that you will enjoy with server management system services in Montreal, include quick responses in case of downtime, timely upgrades and updates, and expert assistance from qualified professionals.


Effective server management is a must for your business. It is necessary in preventing downtime, mitigating performance issues, and minimizing the impact of potential security breaches.

Without the correct server management strategy in place, you risk ending up with a variety of devastating consequences for your business.

Hire server management system experts in Montreal, for turnkey solutions developed by experienced IT professionals, designed to manage your server-related concerns.

Why Are Cyber Security Consulting Services Important for Businesses in Montreal?

Cybercrimes are continuously developing and no organization is completely protected from these dangerous attacks. To protect your business from cyber-attacks, it’s necessary to take a strategic and proactive approach, which implies understanding the risks, planning incident response, restricting access to sensitive data, training your employees, setting up and activating firewalls, performing regular patching of software and operating systems, and hiring an independent cyber security consulting firm in Montreal.

So, what exactly is cybersecurity? What are the benefits of cyber security consulting services in Montreal? And how can these services add value to your business? We will explore these points in detail in the following sections of this blog post.

What Is Cyber Security?

Cybersecurity, also known as computer security or information technology security, is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These cyber-attacks are typically aimed at accessing, altering or destroying sensitive information, extorting money from other users, or disrupting business processes. Implementing effective cybersecurity measures is especially challenging these days, as the attackers are becoming increasingly innovative.

Cyber security consulting services in Montreal are provided by a team of experienced consultants. They have a deep understanding of the scope of cyber risks your business faces today, allowing you to deploy the best possible security solutions for your budget and requirements.

At Info-Tech, our cyber security services are customizable for businesses and large enterprises alike, in all industries, and wherever their offices are based. Our proven online consulting solutions generate significant savings compared to face-to-face consulting. For more information about our cybersecurity services in Montréal, do not hesitate to contact us.

The Benefits of Cyber Security Consulting Services

Your Data Is Safe and Recoverable

Cyber security consulting firms in Montreal are working hard to protect businesses from cyber-attacks. A company’s security cannot be achieved through technology alone without knowing how to use it properly. Instead, by working with a cyber security consulting firm in Montreal, businesses will be safe with the proper precautions to protect and recover sensitive data. These services may provide a variety of safety measures to maintain security, such as firewalls, encryption, password protection, backups and monitoring, and antivirus software.

Develop an Appropriate Strategy

A cybersecurity consulting firm is not involved in selling cyber tools or representing any vendor, so it can help companies assess their options and decide which type of technology is best for keeping data safe, and protecting against cyberattacks. After evaluating the critical assets of an organization and identifying vulnerabilities and threats, a cyber security consulting firm in Montreal can create a roadmap in phases that responds to immediate issues, and also a longer-term plan for security, and ongoing governance to take into account the changes that occur as the organization evolves.

Mitigate Potential Risks

According to Fundera, 64 percent of companies have encountered a virtual attack and small to medium-sized enterprises are expending an average of $7.68 million per incident. Cyber security consulting services in Montreal can help businesses mitigate potential risks, prevent hacking, and avoid data and identity theft. A cybersecurity expert is also able to identify risks that the business may not have previously considered.

Reduce the Possibility of a Cyber Attack

Phishing is a common type of social engineering attack that cybercriminals use to steal business data, such as login credentials or credit card numbers. A hacker may pretend to be a trusted entity in a phishing attack, to encourage the victim to open an email, text message or another type of online message that contains a malicious link, which installs malicious software on the victim’s computer, and consequently on the company’s network. Cybersecurity experts can help reduce the risk of these attacks, by offering appropriate tools and guidance to protect against such attacks.

Develop Incident Response and Threat Management Protocol

Over time, information security threats have gotten more sophisticated and targeted. Attackers have found ways to bypass most traditional security solutions, making information systems even more vulnerable. Companies need to invest in increasingly advanced security solutions to keep up with these sophisticated threats. Cybersecurity consulting services in Montreal can help a company with threat development and the management of a useful incident response plan, with thoughtful approaches to managing and addressing a diverse range of potential cyber-attacks.

Inform and Train Employees to Deal With Cyber-Attacks

Employees who are properly trained are a company’s adequate defense against cyber-attacks. Companies need to educate their staff on the way to recognize and avoid potential cyber threats that are likely to endanger the company. Cyber security consulting companies are able to train employees on secure workplace techniques, and work to maintain and establish cyber awareness culture, through a continuing education program.

Save Money by Hiring Cyber Security Consultant

It’s worth hiring a cybersecurity expert in Montreal. Hiring and retaining employees to fill an internal cybersecurity position, is difficult and expensive. Contracting with a third-party cybersecurity consulting firm offers a profitable option for businesses that need cybersecurity expertise, but cannot afford it or have no need for a full-time staff or manager. Our cyber security consulting services in Montreal can deliver expertise in many areas, to fit a company’s needs.


The impact of data loss or corruption would be catastrophic for any kind of business. But the good news is that there are cybersecurity consulting firms in Montreal that can help organizations solve this problem. Info-Tech Montreal offers IT network security, IT risk management, and cyber security consulting services, along with network consolidation, simplification, and automation. We help you before things get bad.

We come with a network security strategy and our detailed network assessment will answer any questions you have about the state of your company’s computer systems, servers, security, and more. If you still have questions or want to learn more about our cyber security consulting services in Montreal, you can reach out to us for more information now!z

Why Choosing the Right IT Provider Is Important for Your Company

Having the right IT provider is essential to successfully manage any kind of business venture today. The cyber landscape is continuously changing with advancements in technology, growing compliance demands, and more sophisticated cyberattack methodologies.

Without the proper alignment from a reputable tech support provider, you will not only lag in the achievement of your business goals, however, you will also be left greatly exposed to all types of cyberattacks that may hinder or even permanently damage the operations of your business.

In this piece, we will discuss some of the benefits of choosing a professional tech provider in detail, and how to find a provider suitable for your needs. We will also highlight some of the risks you may encounter when hiring an unqualified IT support provider. Keep reading to find out more.

What is an IT Service Provider?

An IT service provider or IT solutions provider, is a managed services provider or value-added reseller (VAR) that helps take care of a client’s IT needs, ranging from concept design, to installation, right through to offering managed IT services.

For most businesses, especially small to medium sized ventures, it is relatively affordable and more convenient to outsource IT services, which results in a greater variety of IT services available. This due to the fact that it is generally extremely costly and time-consuming, to assemble a skilled in-house IT team.

Besides, most daily IT concerns for businesses can be managed remotely, making it easier and more meaningful to outsource IT needs to third parties with the skills and competencies you require regarding your business’ IT concerns.

Benefits of Choosing a Professional Managed IT Provider

Many companies claim to be managed IT providers, but not all of them are worth your time and money.

The role played by professional IT services in your business, is so important that you shouldn’t just let any company take care of your business IT needs.

By choosing a professional tech provider, you stand to benefit from the following:

Access to Expert IT Providers and Current Technologies

One of the benefits that come with hiring an expert IT provider, is easy access to industry experts and current technologies.

A professional tech provider will equip you with valuable resources and highly skilled professionals that you wouldn’t normally be able to afford within your organization.

Also, you will have access to a pool of experts in a variety of fields to cover all aspects of your IT needs, including networking, information technology, and management of your computer security systems.

Cost Reduction

As already observed, it is more expensive to assemble a competent in-house IT team to take care of your business IT needs.

By opting for a professional tech provider, you won’t have to worry about on-site staffing needs.

Also, you will have the convenience of signing up only for the specific services you need, further lowering the cost of your IT needs.

You Get More Time to Focus on Your Core Businesses

It is always a good idea to focus on managing the most important aspects of your business.

As a business, you can allocate your time and business resources to activities that allow you to achieve your business objectives.

By choosing a professional tech provider, you won’t need to spend time and effort trying to figure out which software or hardware technologies you need, troubleshoot problems in your system, install software, and how to secure and maintain various platforms.

You will have all the time you need to concentrate on developing your business.

Reduced Downtime

Downtime in your system can result in enormous business costs. Poor internet connectivity, loss of email communication, corrupted data, or even a system failure, may come with prolonged consequences regarding the profitability of the business.

A professional tech provider will take pre-emptive measures to ensure that you don’t run into any downtime, and that your systems are always up and ready to serve your business needs.

How to Choose an IT Support Provider

Choosing the right IT support provider is not rocket science. The field of IT continues to expand, and your business will only require certain select services.

To land the best provider for your needs, consider the following:

Define Your IT Services Requirements

Before venturing out to research any IT support provider, you need to identify the specific technologies or IT services you need.

Having a clear picture of what you require, will help you narrow your focus, limiting it to more specialized service providers, and tremendously increasing your chances of landing just the right firm for your business.

Additionally, you will be able to contain the budget, since you will not be opting for every service available.

Referrals Within Your Network of Friends & Associates

Once you are clear about what you want, you can then tap into your network of friends and business associates for referrals, for the best tech support provider.

Referrals are great because you will be working with a provider that has been tested beforehand, by someone you know and trust.

You can also checkout online reviews submitted by past clients of each of the referred businesses, and determine whether you would like to work with them based on the reviews submitted.

Proactive Maintenance VS Reactive IT Support

In order to obtain a good experience, you need to opt for an IT service provider that will offer proactive monitoring of your systems, so that problems can be prevented proactively, prior to manifesting themselves.

Through monitoring and continual maintenance of your systems, your tech provider will ensure that you avoid issues that are likely to impact the productivity of your business.

However, you will also need them to be reactive, so that they can quickly and efficiently handle some of the day-to-day concerns that may arise within your system, such as printer problems, cloud issues, phone problems, network connectivity problems, and computer problems, among other issues.

Reliable IT Support

IT-related problems can pop up any day of the week, and any time of the day, even while attempting to enjoy your holidays. This is why you need reliable IT support, including 24/7 support, so that they can resolve any glitches when needed.

Before you make any commitment to them as your provider of choice, ensure that you can count on their help when you need them the most. To verify the reliability of their support, try performing the following:

  • Call them at odd hours, to see if a real person answers, or if you are directed to voicemail.
  • Call on weekends or holidays to see whether their support is available outside normal business hours.
  • Send an email (or use their ticketing system) and label your issue as URGENT.
  • Take note of how long they take to respond and provide a fix.

Risks of Poor IT Support Services

Some of the risks you may encounter if you don’t select your IT support services provider wisely, may include the following:

  • Service unavailability for long durations
  • Poor customer service and user experience leads to unhappy clients
  • Low productivity and poor staff morale
  • Potential financial losses
  • Increased risk to security breaches
  • Poor reputation according to your customers

Conclusion: The Value of Choosing the Best IT Provider

IT plays a vital role in the day-to-day operations of any modern business enterprise or organization. As such, making sure you choose the best IT provider will have a tremendous impact on the overall success of your organization. A competent provider will contribute to the smooth operations of your business, and will also keep your system safe from attacks. Use the tips shared above to help you land the perfect provider for your IT needs.

For more information, or if you need a reliable IT provider to partner with, contact Info-Tech Montreal, one of the best it companies in Montreal, to improve the operations, efficiency and security of your business.


Top Cyber Security Scams to Avoid this Season

The holiday season is around the corner. This is usually a time of the year that comes with heightened online activities, as most people turn to the internet to take advantage of various offers that are available. However, this is not just a great time for merry shoppers. Although some individuals choose to become cybercriminals out of necessity, some enjoy the thrill of scamming honest people out of their money.

Scammers are also on high alert at this time, since they too want to take advantage of increased online activity. As a shopper or an active online user, it pays to be able to identify and avoid the top holiday cyber security scams.

Read below to discover the most popular types of cyber security fraud, and learn about the specific measures you need to take to avoid becoming a victim of the world’s best online scams.

Protect your family, friends, and colleagues by learning how to spot a scammer immediately, and educating those around you, at home and at the office.

Fake Gift Cards, Gift Certificates & Coupons

Millions of online users fall victim to fake gift cards or gift certificates, and online coupons, every year without fail. Scammers love gift cards and coupons because they are not easily traceable, and shoppers tend to be particularly tempted by free stuff, making them vulnerable.

Typically, cybercriminals create fake stores or listings or even entire online communities, such as Craigslist, for discounted gift cards or coupons. Their goal is to capture your credit card details, which they will then use to empty your bank accounts.

Scammers may also get you to purchase a voucher for them on behalf of someone you may know, sending you a fake request from an email address using the name of someone you may regularly interact with publicly or on social media, such as an employer, colleague or close friend.

How to Detect Holiday Gift Card Scams

Some of the signs that you may be on the verge of being scammed via fake gift cards and coupons, are as follows:

  • Someone is requesting an activation fee in exchange for the gift card, using a suspicious-looking email address or anonymous communication channel.
  • You have found yourself on a suspicious-looking online store, on a domain name that was recently registered, with an unestablished-looking or unsecured URL.
  • A gift card without a valid receipt is being offered, making it impossible for you to validate the purchase.
  • You are being asked to quickly make a time-sensitive gift card purchase by someone close to you on their behalf, from an unusual email address. Once purchased, this person asks you to quickly send you the gift-card code.

How to Stay Safe

Always remember that gift cards should be used as gifts. If someone is asking you to buy a gift card for them, then know that you are likely in the process of getting scammed, and complete your due diligence. Above all, make sure the request to purchase a gift card is truly being made by the person who you believe you are exchanging messages with. It is advisable to avoid purchasing gift cards from any third-party store or entity. Stick to making your purchases from the issuer’s original online stores or any major retailer’s website, and stick to brands you are familiar with.

Online Shopping Scams Offer Huge Discounts

Cybercriminals have perfected the art of creating fake online stores or lookalikes, and offer massively discounted prices, ensuring that their online shopping scams entice unsuspecting shoppers.

Unfortunately, there is only so much that an IT network security firm can do to prevent these kinds of scams, due to the manual nature of actions taken by the victims. The best that can be done to prevent employees, friends or relatives from succumbing to such scams, is to spread awareness as early on as possible.

Buyers believe that potential victims make genuine purchases from their favorite online brands, and are grateful for seemingly huge discounts or freebies.

However, in reality, victims make purchases from a lookalike website, and far too often, voluntarily surrender their credit card details and personal information, to an online fraudster.

How to Detect Fake Online Stores

Here are some of the warning signs to help you identify fake online stores:

  • Avoid stores offering significant discounts; generally over 50%.
  • Pay attention to signs of phishing scams, poor grammar, poor image quality, fake sounding reviews from alleged past customers.
  • The website lacks basic company information such as an About Us page, and Contact information.
  • URLs seem suspicious.
  • Website is unsecured.
  • Website was only registered recently. Click here to find out when a website’s domain name was registered.
  • The text on the website you are visiting is not unique.

How to Stay Safe

To avoid getting scammed by fake online stores, always ensure that you are dealing with the official website of the brand in question.

Be very cautious with sellers offering huge discounts, and if you have to make a purchase from an unknown online vendor, conduct some research online to verify whether or not they are scammers. Check the company’s online reputation out using multiple channels, including Google, Facebook, and TrustPilot.

If you are about to click on a website but it doesn’t inspire your confidence, you can run a quick security scan using Sucuri, which quickly checks websites for any red flags in terms of malware and security. Sucuri SiteCheck scanner will check the website for known malware, viruses, blacklisting status, website errors, out-of-date software, and malicious code.

In case you find yourself on an unknown or untrustworthy-looking website, there is an easy and quick way to verify whether content on the website you are viewing is unique, or if it has just copied its content from another source online. Simply copy a snippet of approximately 1 entire sentence from the website, and paste it into Google Search Engine. Scroll through the search results to confirm whether multiple websites containing the same content appear.

You can also quickly check how many pages a website has by typing “site:” just before the URL of the suspicious website to see what comes out on Google.

*Do not include “https://www.” before the website’s URL.

For example:

Search part from a website

This illustrates how many results pages were found in Google search engine, and lists each page that has been found.

Romance Scammers

Lonely during the holidays? Perhaps you were recently contacted by an attractive or suspicious person on Facebook (META), Instagram or perhaps on a popular online dating site such as Tinder. Or; maybe they just want to be friends. Most people have already come across these types of “romance scammers”.

For instance, Simon Leviev is a convicted conman from Israel. The documentary “The Tinder Swindler,” exposes details relating to the path chosen by this convicted fraudster.

Using the lavish lifestyle portrayed on social media, Leviev scammed women he met on Tinder, and baited them with impressive and costly first dates. Once a connection was formed with each victim, he would ask his victims for thousands of dollars, claiming that his life was in danger.

In December 2019, this convicted love scammer was sentenced to 15 months in prison but only served a few months due to good behavior. Charges included theft, fraud and forgery.

Man arrested for scamming

How to Stay Safe

Beware of exchanging any personal or sensitive information with these individuals whatsoever; they may seem friendly at first, but later start to ask for favours, may attempt to obtain your personal information for the purpose of identity theft, and could even try to extort you. Some scammers can spend months, and even years baiting their prey before they pounce, and before you know it, you could find yourself in the midst of an online dating scam.

Social Media Ads Running Fake Promotions

Since people spend multiple hours per day on social media, it has become a fertile hunting ground for cybercriminals. These individuals or groups of people create fake social media pages, and run fake promotions and listings.

A great recent example of this, manifested itself following Elon Musk’s purchase of social media giant, Twitter.

Musk’s intentions seemed purely positive when initiating “Twitter Blue”, essentially allowing users of the platform to verify themselves as premium users via their respective Apple IDs and phone numbers, for a monthly fee of $7.99.

However, “Twitter accounts impersonating celebrities and politicians spread like wildfire on the site, shortly after the company rolled out paid check marks.

Almost immediately, users started taking advantage of the new tool. Accounts were created impersonating politicians including President Biden and celebrities, as well as other notable people. Several also surfaced purporting to be brands, announcing fake news.” – The Washington Post.

There are also other scams on social media designed to steal your identity or to get you to transfer money. Here is how you can identify common online scams:

  • The link from the social media ad will take you to a suspicious online store.
  • The account behind the promotions has a low follower count, a large quantity of fake followers, or the page was just recently created.
  • The promotion seems too good to be true.

How to Stay Safe

Remember that not all stores or sites you get to from social media links are legit, including ads. Make sure to verify the key warning signs, and do your due diligence before making any transactions or clicking on any suspicious links. Be extremely careful to validate the source, prior to transmitting funds or personal information.

Fake Charities Designed to Steal Your Money

Some scammers love taking advantage of the generosity of millions of online users, by creating fake charities. Most of these charity scams are very tough to spot, even by the most reputable security providers in Montreal.

By the time you notice that you have been scammed, you may have already been robbed of your hard-earned money. Here are a few tips to help you detect some of these charity scams:

  • Before you make any donation, be sure to check the URL, as well as the name of the organization.
  • Be very careful with campaigns that use hard-sell tactics or vague language.

How to Stay Safe

Before you make any donations, research the organization through Better Business Bureau’s Charity Navigator tool or Wise Giving Alliance.

If you want to contribute to a GoFundMe campaign, research the organizers behind it, prior to letting your seasonal generosity manifest itself.

Fake Seasonal Jobs

There are so many people interested in making extra cash during the holiday season. People seeking out seasonal work can be easily targeted by cyber criminals, via fake seasonal job postings.

Scammers will post fake jobs offering good money, for a minimal amount of work. The goal is for you to send them money for “supplies and training”, as well as to steal your personal information.

Here are a few tips on how to identify seasonal job scams:

  • They promise to hire you immediately.
  • They offer a guaranteed job once interviews are held on WhatsApp or Telegram; possibly even Snapchat.
  • They are demanding your personal information, bank details, and tax details immediately.
  • They require you to send money to the company prior to getting hired.

How to Stay Safe

Before you consider making any serious application to these seasonal jobs, verify the reviews of the company on reputable job websites, such as Glassdoor.

See the kind of comments left by past applicants to know whether they are legit or just another scam designed to cheat you out of your money, and waste your precious time.

Scams Featuring Popular Brands

This season, scams for Nike and Ray-Ban brands have already been identified.

As for gift card imposters, this year, popular targets include big-tech, such as:

  1. Google
  2. Amazon
  3. Apple

Here is a list of popular religious, festive and shopping holidays, seasons and times throughout the year when online fraud tends to pick up:

  • Christmas
  • Christmas Eve
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Hanukkah
  • Sukkot
  • Diwali
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Easter
  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday

Here are just a few popular scam URLs to beware of throughout Black Friday:

  • coatpark[.]com
  • nestorliquor[.]com
  • annishuan[.]com
  • hugoiio[.]com
  • cathytok[.]com
  • hardaddy[.]com

Taking Cybersecurity Seriously

Ultimately, a preventative approach to seasonal online scams is always best. If you manually send a transfer or make an online purchase, there is little your bank or credit card provider can do to mitigate the situation and reverse the charges. Furthermore, the risk of having your computer taken over by Ransomware scammers, and/or jeopardizing sensitive or important data or suffering data loss, increases tremendously throughout the holidays. So keep your eyes wide open, and be careful where you click, who you’re in communication with, and what you purchase. Don’t let any time-sensitive offers or requirements throw you off, and report anything suspicious to those around you. Also remember that just because you’re signed into your own email account, doesn’t mean you’re still safe; you could be one-click away from a phishing attack.

Keep in mind that even outside of computer crime, there are various other types of fraudulent activity. For instance, there have been many scam check initiatives designed to mail what seems like an ordinary cheque to someone, who they had previously invited to participate in the completion of a relatively simple task. They are then mailed this check and asked to cash it. They then request that a portion of the money that was deposited is transferred back over to them.

Happy holidays, be safe, and if you do happen to identify any cyber scams online, we’d love to hear about them. If you want to be even more benevolent, remember that cyber crime reporting of any online scams you’ve identified publicly on the internet, to your financial institution or to the police. In fact, now that you already have an idea how to report a scammer online, you should also know that there is a division of the Montreal police that manages these types of illegal activities, known as CyberCrime.

Of course, if you’re concerned with the safety of your business continuity, sensitive information, and wish to avoid any instances of ransomware or data-loss, our network security solutions may be of interest to you. Feel free to contact Info-Tech Montreal for more information.

The Importance of a Network Security Assessment

Are you really aware of what is circulating on your network? Most companies can only partially see the devices connected to the network and their activities, leaving them unaware of the security risks.

With everything going on in the world today, it’s no surprise that cybersecurity is a top priority for every IT department. Cyber-attacks against businesses are widespread and destructive.

Customers now have zero tolerance for data breaches. If an attack occurs and their personal information is exposed, they will not hesitate to find another company to work with. Now is the best time to review your security status, and make adjustments to your plan.

Current Threat Environment

A threat is a potential breach that affects the confidentiality, availability or integrity of a resource. Threats can include disclosure of sensitive data, falsification of data, and even denial of access to services.

The current threat environment consists of information about threats, malicious actors and threat vectors, from which attacks can occur.

Malicious actors are individuals or groups who seek to cause damage via existing threats. For example, in the case of laptop theft, the malicious actor is the thief. A threat vector is a path that allows an attack. For example, the door is left open or the laptop is not attached to the table.

What is a safety assessment?

A safety assessment can take many forms. In general, a security assessment is a technical review of your technological systems, physical security, and rules, where a security expert looks for vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could lead to a security incident. Security assessments may vary depending on who is conducting them, and your business objectives for the assessment.

Why is it important to secure an internal network?

Networks are one of the main targets of attacks because they rarely incorporate security risk considerations into their design. Network security is an important issue for businesses. Indeed, the increasing importance of computer resources, the interconnection of information systems, and their disclosure, increase the risk of attacks.

At the same time, information (data) is generated, exchanged and processed by systems and networks that may be vulnerable to any level of component or configuration, including servers, workstations, segmentation, Wi-Fi, user access and applications.

The basics

In order to protect your computer network, it is important to have good protection tools, such as antivirus software, firewalls and anti-spam software. To protect your network, you must allow your employees to adopt best practices such as:

  • Using complex passwords
  • Not opening attachments: unknown or uncontrolled files
  • Avoid connecting to compromised websites.

Using a VPN can help. It is important to understand the key concepts related to network security. Without knowing the vulnerabilities and malicious actors, it is difficult to know which security controls are the best to implement.

For example, you need to understand that your identity must be verified before you can access our system. This is basic knowledge to identify the right suppliers and solutions.

Access control

Access control is a type of security control that most people are familiar with. Today, most people use passwords to connect to their computers. You may have done it yourself a few minutes ago. A password may have been used to access a network, application or file. On average, a person must keep track of 10 passwords. The implementation of access control is divided into four parts: identification, authentication, authorization and liability.

This process uses unique identifiers such as user IDs, usernames and account numbers to verify your identity. The system authenticates a user’s identity by verifying the user’s known identifiers, such as username and password. It may also be in your possession, such as an ID card or a one-time password. Authorization is the process of granting authorizations after the system has validated the user.

The last part, responsibility, deals with the monitoring of user activity and the accountability of users to whom access is granted for their actions on the system. Passwords are not the only option anymore. There are many options, including one-time passwords, smart cards, and devices and software that generate biometric data. Particular attention should be paid to the choice of the appropriate option for each network resource.


An exploitable vulnerability must exist for a threat to occur. A vulnerability can be used by a malicious actor to violate your security policy.

Going back to the laptop example, lightweight design, portability and convenience are features that attract many customers. At the same time, the same characteristic is a weak point that increases the risk of theft. Security controls such as door and cable locks slow down malicious actors, reduce the likelihood of theft, and reduce the overall risk.

Prevent, detect, Solve

Confidentiality, integrity and availability are the key attributes that define the objectives of any information security process. This process involves many strategies and activities. Each is in one of three phases: prevention, detection and remediation. The pillars of the prevention phase are:

  • Define the elements to be protected
  • Define organizational responsibilities
  • Establishment of implementation procedures
  • Application Details
  • Create a security awareness program to train all employees
  • Establish access controls to manage how employees access and use company resources

Why carry out this analysis?

Network security is constantly evolving. There will be new threats and vulnerabilities, new uses, evolving segmentation, and much more. Effective network security management requires comprehensive knowledge of the network environment.

All threats must be assessed on a regular basis to determine relative risk.

From there, you can effectively manage priorities and resources to address these risks, improve security, and prevent attacks and business interruptions. This scan is a quick and easy way to view applications, threats and vulnerabilities on your network.

Signs of High-Risk Information Technology Security

In today’s world of technology, it is becoming increasingly easier for hackers to attack companies, as well as for data files and information to become lost. Many security threats can occur, ranging from attacks by hackers, losing your files due to server malfunctions/breakdowns, having your data breached, and more.

It is important to be aware of the signs that may determine whether your activities are potentially putting your company at high risk, regarding any of these security concerns. Not only is it important to be aware of these signs, it is equally important to discover ways to take preventive action so that your data is protected and secure.

Signs That You Might Be At Risk

Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

Firstly, your business is considered at high risk in terms of I.T. security if any of your company’s software programs have not been updated. By neglecting to update your software, you aren’t benefiting from new technological advances made by that software company for the purpose of upgrading your security system, to protect against a range of the latest security threats. Getting your software up-to-date is a way to mitigate the weak points consistently, identified in your software, as there are new fixes that are released regularly.

Always Have a Backup

A second way that you might be putting your business at high risk for I.T. security, is if you do not have all of your information or files saved in the cloud, or in a server, and backed up regularly. If there is an attack or a server disruption, and you have not made a backup in a while, there is a high chance that your files may never be recovered.

Teach Your Employees How to Secure Data

A third way that your business might be at high risk for I.T. security, is if there is no plan or policies in-place regarding cybersecurity. If employees are not informed on how to properly secure their data, information or files, there is a higher risk of a cyberattack occurring.
In these training sessions, it is important to inform employees about phishing links that may lead to an attack. and how they can spot the signs of problematic emails and links. Knowledge is power, and keeping your employees up-to-date with a cybersecurity strategy, is one of the best ways to prevent attacks created by human error.

At Info-tech Montreal, we offer trainings on best security practices and how to secure you and your team can secure data.

Get an I.T. Team

Another way that your company may be at high risk in terms of I.T. security, is if your company does not have a technical support team. Not having a Managed Service Provider (MSP), can increase your risk for I.T. security, as you may not realize you have a problem if professionals are not there to monitor the situation. Professional MSPs have an I.T, with individuals who have different specialites that allow them to react swiftly, and take the right steps for security threats that do occur.

Create Strong Passwords

Another sign that indicates that your activities may put you at high risk for I.T. security, is having a weak password. It is important to make sure that your passwords are strong, complex and contain enough characters, more than just letters, but symbols or numbers as well. This instantly increases the difficulty of any bot or hacker in search of such vulnerabilities.

However, having a strong password is not enough to be fully secure. New technology such as 2-Factor Authorization and Multiple Factor Authorization are now a must in order to keep your business secure.

Get an Assessment to Lower Security Risks

Now that you know some of the ways in which your business can be considered at high-risk, the information below is going to provide insights into how Info-Tech Montreal can help your company take the necessary precautions in order to improve your network security.

One way to prevent your business from becoming high-risk, is to have an I.T. security risk assessment. This assessment starts off with the identification of vulnerabilities and scans the vital areas of the technology network. Once the risks are identified and evaluated, planning can begin in the areas of your business that need the most time and energy to mitigate the I.T. security risks.

After mitigation of risks is planned, we begin to develop a strategy and apply security controls for each of the risks that we have identified in the first step of this assessment. While performing this step in the assessment, we may notice some holes that lead to a higher I.T. security risk. It is here that we implement specific tools to prevent any I.T. malfunctions.

By completing this assessment, you are helping the future of your business, in the case of any damage that may occur regarding your business’ security and information.

Overview of Solutions to Mitigate I.T. Security Risks

Here are other ways that companies can minimize the risk of data breaches, or any I.T. security concerns:

Update software programs to the latest version, to better protect against cyber attacks and other forms of disruption.

  • Back up files on a regular basis, in case of a server crash.
  • Set up cybersecurity and data breach policies, and conduct training sessions for employees, so they can spot potential cyber attacks and avoid them.
  • Hire an I.T. team to overlook and monitor all I.T. problems so that companies can focus on growing their business.
  • Use strong and complex passwords that do not contain personal information, which would otherwise then become an easy target available to hackers.

After reading this article, you are now aware of the areas you can focus on, in order to mitigate security risks, and prevent a data breach. Every company will have a different solution for optimal network security, but an experienced Managed Service Provider is essential to your business.

If you’re in need of high-quality preventive action, and monitoring of your company’s computer networks for improved security, contact Info-Tech Montreal. With an expert team on board, and nearly 25 years of experience, Info-Tech can optimize your company’s computer network, resulting in an improved network security.

Is your private network as secure as you think it is?

As a result of an increasing amount of information being exchanged online, network security has become imperative to the majority of businesses. The best way to prevent a security breach, along with associated liabilities, which would result in further headwinds facing your business, is to create an IT Security policy, a Data Recovery (DR) plan, a Privacy Policy, all of which can be managed by Info-Tech Montreal. This will protect your business continuity, regardless of the size of your company or the nature of your industry. In other words, you will now be able to operate without the fear or threat that your business could face stressful and costly downtime, data loss, permissions issues, breach of information, or undesirable liabilities.

Studies conducted relating to current and future ways of conducting business, reveal that approximately half of small businesses admit that they still need to improve their response plans regarding data breaches, and IT security incidents. This remains a clear indication that Info-Tech Montreal’s solutions are not only extremely relevant, but are necessary in order to achieve secure business operations.

It is also important to note that a significant number of businesses that experienced a data breach, have admitted that they didn’t have appropriate IT solutions in place. This has also revealed that the business lacks internal IT knowledge and experience. It also demonstrates a lack of knowledge and policies designed to regulate or restrict access to internal information by a third party, which must be implemented to establish and maintain all data security needs.

Info-Tech Montreal helps small and mid-sized businesses, in Canada, manage their computer networks and cater to their general and more bespoke I.T. needs. By choosing Info-Tech, it is important to us that we provide you with the results you need from your technology investment – even if you don’t know exactly what those needs are. We work diligently with our clients to assess your current situation, and then suggest products and services that will best meet your immediate needs. Our experts digress from complex ‘tech-talk’ & explain all your choices in clear, non-technical terms, so there is a clear and concise understanding of how your business & employees will benefit from each selected option. More often than ever, businesses and employees are being targeted by sophisticated phishing attacks due to the valuable information that criminals who engage in such phishing attempts can be potentially acquire. Workplace phishing emails are now made to look like they are from a legitimate organization, a client or even a co-worker. Whether your employees are working from home, in the office or elsewhere, it’s important that they are able to perform their job at a high level without the potential of putting the company’s information at risk. Info-Tech manages all backend systems that are hardware, software, and security-related. A heavy focus is on prevention of such cyber security threats, including the more recent threat of ransomware, whereby a person or company’s information is essentially held hostage, potentially until a payment is made as per the demands of this type of cyber-criminal.

It is important to note, however, that cyber-attacks aren’t unique to large corporations. Every single individual with an online presence should protect their IT systems, too. Below are a few practical steps you can take immediately, to tighten up your data security, via services offered by Info-Tech Montreal.

IT Network Security

Network Security is vital in protecting client data and information, keeping shared data secure and ensuring reliable access and network performance, as well as protection from cyber threats. A well-designed network security solution reduces overhead expenses and safeguards organizations from costly losses that occur from a data breach or other security incident. Ensuring legitimate access to systems, applications and data enables business operations and delivery of services and products to customers.

Network security involves access control, virus and anti-virus software, application security, network analytics, network related security, firewalls, VPN encryption and more according to the clients’ specific needs.

IT Risk Management

IT risk management, also called “information security risk management,” consists of the policies, procedures, and technologies that a company uses to mitigate risks from malicious actors and reduce information technology vulnerabilities that negatively impact data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. An effective IT risk management program should use a combination of different policies and strategies, as attacks can come in many forms and what works for one data asset might not be successful for another. However, there are overarching actions that all organizations can take to begin strengthening their cybersecurity posture. Most importantly, it is imperative that enterprise security teams have continuous monitoring in place to ensure that cybersecurity efforts are keeping up with the evolving threat landscape. Starting out by putting together all your SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) will facilitate the identification of potential security risks or vulnerabilities.

Cyber Security Services

Cyber security is the practice of shielding computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. It’s also known as information technology security or electronic information security. The term applies in a variety of contexts, from business to mobile computing, and can be divided into a few common categories.

The threats countered by cyber-security consist of:

a) Cybercrime includes single actors or groups targeting systems for financial gain or to cause disruption.
b) Cyber-attack often involves politically motivated information gathering.
c) Cyberterrorism is intended to undermine electronic systems to cause panic or fear.

Even as companies invest in data security modules, there remain simple measures that can be applied to continually up the ante on how businesses and allow employees an opportunity to grow their knowledge and ability to implement the basics of cybersecurity. Info-Tech Montreal makes sure clients are briefed when creating, managing, accessing and storing files, and how to identify emails or information designed to harm the entire company. There will also be a process for managing the company’s sensitive information including passwords, customer lists, and client or company information.

Some useful pointers include:

  • Ensure passwords are strong; staff shouldn’t use their name, birthday, street address or other personal information. In addition, passwords should be at least 16 characters long, contain both upper and lowercase characters, numbers and special characters.
  • Teach staff how to deal with sensitive data, for example, only store it using trusted cloud services that need to be authenticated for access and do not share it with untrusted or third parties.
  • Install, configure and enforce the use of legitimate software, via Info-Tech Montreal.
  • Create backups of essential data and regularly update IT equipment and applications to avoid unpatched vulnerabilities that could cause a breach.
  • There are a host of solutions available to Info-Tech Montreal that are easy to set up, enable businesses to protect sensitive data and secure financial transactions, as well as safeguard user credentials.

There are, of course, numerous reasons why companies decide to invest in their privacy program. It is also imperative to note that, it is not just about levelling the playing field, it is also about protecting the personal data of individuals, and allowing them to protect and exercise their rights and gain control over how their data is processed, by whom, and under what circumstances. Protecting your company’s valuable information is essentially about equipping oneself on how to navigate this abundant online World.

This means you will need to consider what kind of company you want to be and what kind of values you want to support. Focusing on privacy as one of your company’s key values can help you create trust between you and your customers throughout the course of time. In addition, you will be eligible for larger contracts from higher profile organizations, since most publicly traded companies have a vendor management process, and your company’s IT Security Policy, DR Policy and Privacy Policy need to be up-to-date in order for you to qualify as a supplier.

Your Policies and Security Systems are Only as Good as Your People

After a murderous GPS led him into a lake, famed Dunder Mifflin boss Michael Scott said, “People will never be replaced by machines. In the end, life and business are about human connections.”

We all know companies depend on their employees to forge and nurture relationships with customers, potential clients, and other coworkers. But what we don’t often realize is how important employees are in helping your company protect its technology and sensitive internal data, too.

It’s estimated that approximately 74 percent of companies have experienced a security breach due to employees violating established security rules.

Find out what it would cost you to be down because of a security breach with our Free Downtime Calculator.

To make sure your internal systems and data remain safe and secure, it’s essential to train your employees on best practices for keeping your business and data safe. We encourage you to put the following policies in place and ensure your staff follow them consistently.

Adhere to Guidelines for Strong Passwords

A strong password isn’t optional; hackers and criminals are much more likely to breach an account with a password that’s easy to guess.

Employees should follow these guidelines when creating their passwords:

  • Use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters
  • Incorporate special characters and numbers
  • Use phrases
  • Avoid passwords that include birthdays, student IDs, the names of pets or children, hometowns, vacation spots, or other personal information that’s easy to guess or find

While conventional guidelines state that passwords should be a minimum of eight characters long, it’s better to use passwords that are at least 15 characters long.

Follow Security Group Naming Conventions

Your security groups should use secure naming conventions that adhere to a set of guidelines that standardize the names and creation of future names. This will make it easier for you to identify your host names, user accounts, and other resources and assist you with managing and monitoring the security of your various accounts.

Secure Your Equipment When You’re Away

Even if they’re only stepping away from their equipment for a moment, employees should make it a habit to secure their devices. It only takes a quick glance from the wrong person (yes, sometimes it can be a fellow colleague!) to access and misuse confidential information.

This also applies to equipment that employees may temporarily use with their unique logins. When they’re done, they should always log out and multiple individuals should never share or use the same login credentials.

Declutter Old Files

Employees should regularly declutter their old files and permanently delete files they don’t need anymore. Files are a potential source of valuable information that hackers would love to obtain – not only that, but a drive that’s full of unnecessary files can slow down your computers.

Make sure employees take steps to confirm that the files are permanently deleted, like using special software that removes the file from the device’s hard drive.

Be Vigilant When Sending Emails

Email consistently serves as one of the main vectors for security breaches. While email is convenient for providing employees with a rapid, reliable means of communication, it also gives hackers the opportunity to steal your company’s information within seconds via a harmful link or malicious attachment.

Employees should follow strict usage policies to prevent an email-related security breach:

  • Implement a Filing System for Emails

An email filing system isn’t only useful for organizing messages or quickly finding a specific one, but also for increasing the security of an email inbox.

For example, with a filing system, employees can quickly identify if they’re receiving a lot of emails from outside entities that pose a security risk. Organizing their emails also allows them to determine what messages have been dealt with and can be deleted, and makes it easier to spot incoming spam or phishing emails.

  • Know What Not to Click On

Employees should never click on attachments from unknown users and should only click on attachments when they’re expecting to receive an attachment.

If they do need to click on an attachment, they should ensure that they’re using a device with tools that scan attachments for malicious files, like an antivirus software.

  • Avoid Sending Internal Attachments

If your company doesn’t send internal attachments, employees will have little reason to click on a potentially harmful attachment from a trusted sender. Instead, encourage employees to use shared file storage to share files.

  • Know How to Safely Send Files Externally

Employees will likely need to send files to external recipients at some point. In these instances, encourage employees to use password-protected links and add expiration dates that ensure the link isn’t accessible after a stated period. These guidelines make it more secure to add files and save valuable inbox space.

How to Bolster Your Company’s Security

All of the policies in the world won’t protect your company’s data if your employees don’t follow them. If you’re not sure of the state of your company’s security, contact us today to schedule a comprehensive network security assessment



How to Spot a Text Message Scam

Scams are becoming more common each day. Do you know how to spot a text message scam?

As scammers have caught on that the majority of people can identify an email scam, they have since resorted to text message scams. The below article is going into depth on ways that you can identify if a particular text message is a scam and other things to be aware/ mindful of in order to not fall victim to smishing – phishing via SMS. As always be cautious and safe in all online connected spaces.

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