Watch this 50 second video, and then read the rest of the article.


The Certainty of an Untrustable Future


Most people think about deep fakes as something that only celebrities like Taylor Swift have to worry about. This is an incorrect and potentially very expensive mistake. AI-generated scams and deep fakes of everyday people are about to descend like a plague of locusts.


When the phone rings and nobody is there, there is a real chance that your voice is being recorded.聽 Thieves can use it to build a voice profile of you.聽 Today that only takes 3 seconds of your voice.


Unfortunately, we鈥檙e just in that period in history where new technology is completely overwhelming both our laws and our senses.聽 It鈥檚 everywhere.聽 Attacks at Canadian banks have nearly tripled, phony Billionaires on Facebook are stealing people’s life savings.聽 Even Jason Statham鈥檚 latest movie聽involves taking on cyber criminals (inevitably, he ends up blowing up a call center and defeating the bad guys.聽 If only it were that easy).


The Benefit of Local


One of the major benefits of dealing with a multi-generational independent financial firm is that you鈥檝e got someone you know personally.聽 聽People who are there through the generations that you can call or go and see.聽 This was not the case for this Toronto realtor who was recently misled in a web/phone scam, and it cost him $600,000.


This is becoming a point of major importance as you don’t know these days what is real and what is not. QR codes are increasingly fake.聽 Google is in a cat-and-mouse game with spammers spamming their search results.聽 If not, when they get beat, you get sent to a fraudulent page that looks like what you were looking for but isn’t.


We can’t solve the world’s scam problems, but we are here to speak with you if you are approached. Remember to always call us at our regular office number, however.


To help you take concrete steps, we’ve put together 5 Security Steps which should help minimize your likelihood of being successfully attacked.


Note:聽 We wrote this blog piece the old-fashioned way, but, we generated our
graphic here using Chatgpt.聽 Notice the mistakes it frequently makes.
Today, this is one of the ways you can spot a fake.聽 Here are some others…


1. Follow a Hierarchy of Safety


There is a considerable difference in security amongst devices.聽 eg. Using a 10-year-old Windows PC or an old Android phone is dramatically more dangerous than making purchases or banking on a new Apple iPad or iPhone.聽 This is because Apple phones are vastly better controlled from end to end.


One of the best investments you can make is in a late-model up-to-date iPad or iPhone purchased through a local retailer.聽 Then, use it exclusively for financial transactions.聽 Apple iPhones are more secure than other computers or phones.


So, if you’re really serious about improving your security, don’t act on any of these other recommendations until you’re sure you’ve got a late-model iOS device with the latest security patches set up to install automatically.聽 Nothing is perfect. Apple’s just ahead of everyone commercially at this stage.


As an aside, both Apple and Google’s聽 Passkey programs will further help simplify your security and logins as will products like Google’s Titan security key.


(Note:聽 We’re not saying you can’t secure a Windows PC or Android phone, just that you’re much more likely to be exposed on second-tier systems).


2. Evade to Avoid


Successful evasion of scammers often comes down to being the most difficult to find.聽 Just like in the animal kingdom, the lower your profile, the lower your risk.聽聽


Accordingly, part of a good proactive security plan involves minimizing your web footprint.聽 You start by getting your information out of the hands of data brokers.聽 They sell it to both advertisers and nefarious folks alike but they have to remove and not collect your data, if formally requested.聽 聽Here’s a deeper dive on just some of what’s going on.


Enter two services, which cost roughly a hundred dollars a year and are highly regarded as ways of getting your information off the market. We talked about Incogni a few episodes ago, but we’ve also added Deleteme. Both of these formally request eliminating your personal information, which data brokers are legally obligated to abide by.聽聽


Using one of these is recommended. Using both of them may be duplicative, but it falls into the better safe than sorry category.聽 Incogni and Deleteme have 4.4 and 4.5-star ratings on Trust Pilot.


3. Use a VPN in Addition to Anti-Virus


Maybe the bug is on your computer, but maybe it’s on your router copying everything your whole family is doing.聽 So, assume your system or network is infected and always use a VPN to encrypt your data.


Many top security vendors (such as Norton) offer a built-in VPN you can activate.聽 Others prefer well-known offerings like Nord VPN, recommended in this review of VPNs by the well-respected tech review firm Tom’s Hardware.


Note: Many聽‘free’ VPN services are often scams set up to steal your data.聽 Pay for one.


4. Patch Patch Patch


While even a fully patched computer can get hit by a Zero Day Threat, the vast majority of viruses get in through unpatched Operating Systems.


Setting your Windows Update System settings to automatically update immediately when new patches are available is the best way to ensure you get your system patched as soon as possible.


Note:聽 One of the best features of the Google Pixel line up of phones is that they receive their patches immediately upon release.聽 That’s often well before other Android makers such as Samsung.聽 You’re taking a major risk if you’re not fully up to date with your software.


5. Online Security Course


This is challenging stuff to keep up with.聽 We get that.聽 That’s why our team has gone through the free Online Cyber Security Training from Montreal-based


We suggest you do, too. Invest an hour in this non-technical, simple course, and you’ll significantly improve your family’s safety. Then, pass it on to a friend.


No Silver Bullets


Unfortunately in today’s world of security, there are no silver bullet solutions that fix everything, forever.聽 Things will continue to change, and we’ll do our best to keep abreast of solutions that will give our clients an edge.

About The Author

Schneider Content Team
Our research advisory team that helps keep us ahead so we can do the same for you.