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Your data is your business...protecting it is ours.

At Digital Seattle, we understand business. We consult. We provide solutions to solve everyday challenges. We just happen to fix computers as well.

We believe (and have proven) that if you proactively manage technology, run maintenance religiously, and monitor a business network, everyday issues and downtime will be greatly reduced.

This is what makes us different than your typical tech support company. Sure, we can fix computer issues when you have them, but our specialty is preventing them in the first place.

Are you looking for a partner you can trust your IT with? Sign up for a FREE IT Assessment to get started today.

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      Who Are We?

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      Digital Seattle understands that making a decision means putting your trust in us. We encourage you to find out more about our company and read testimonials from our many satisfied customers!

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      What Our Clients Say

      • President
        Seattle, WA
        Building Owners and Managers Association Seattle King County

        Digital Seattle has been our computer technologies support partner since 2003 assisting us with our network setup and administration, IT support and even our upgrade purchases. Digital Seattle's support service has been prompt and reliable and they have always been able to meet our IT business needs.

      • Principal
        Seattle, WA
        Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

        We've found Digital Seattle's staff to listen carefully to our needs and to be highly responsive, knowledgeable, and innovative in their recommendations and service. We've worked with them for all of our technology needs ranging from installing infrastructure, servers… to maintenance, repair and planning. I would be delighted to recommend Digital Seattle for any of these services.

      • Office Manager
        Everett, WA
        Computer Power and Service, Inc.

        What I like most is how responsive, professional and friendly the staff is. Digital Seattle has made some technological recommendations for us that have worked incredibly well... The services that Digital Seattle provides leave us with a peace of mind with regards to frequent backups, the ability to reach an engineer in a short amount of time and their ability to solve our PC and network issues.

      • Administrative Assistant
        San Francisco, CA
        Alber Seafoods

        ... With past experiences, we were doubtful that we would be able to reach anyone for assistance. To our surpise though, regardless of the time, a tech will usually call us back within a reasonable amount of time to help us troubleshoot.. Digital Seattle is quick in responding to our IT needs. The techs are prompt and extremely patient, and have excellent team work... It makes people like me with very basic computer knowledge not feel intimidated or uncomfortable when working with them.

      • General Manager
        Seattle, WA
        Inn At The Market

        I like that the Digital Seattle team is trained in our technologies, they know our infrastructure. I can call and talk to them and get results- they are not rookies.

      Latest Blogs

      Tip of the Week: How Bandwidth Works (and Why It Matters)

      Before we go any further, it is important that you have an idea of how bandwidth functions.

      Bandwidth Does Not Equal Speed

      This is a common enough misconception that can be cleared up with a relatively simple analogy.

      Picture a fast food restaurant, with a school bus filled with hungry student athletes looking for a post-game meal. As this team is very coordinated, they all want the same things, allowing the crew member behind the register to take all of their orders at a consistent rate. While it may take longer, all of the team members will have their order taken. 

      Now, imagine that the fast food franchise has a second person at the registers, equally proficient as the first employee. While the speed at which orders can be taken hasn’t technically increased, more orders can be taken at once, so the student athletes will make it through the line faster.

      Bandwidth works in effectively the same way as the registers in this scenario. It isn’t that greater bandwidth moves data any faster, it’s that greater bandwidths can move more data at once. 

      This means that you can also invest in too much bandwidth. Let’s return to our fast food franchise for a moment. If you have someone ready and waiting on each of three registers, but only one customer, you are over-investing in your franchise’s “bandwidth.”

      In other words, you’d be spending more money than you needed to, which is a pretty blatant (and shockingly common) problem for businesses.

      The Influence of Bandwidth

      The amount of bandwidth that your business has access to can have a considerable impact on your operations, by effectively limiting the amount of tasks that can be performed simultaneously - at least, without issue.

      Different common business tasks will use different amounts of bandwidth, and most of them use a minimal amount of bandwidth. Then, there are the heavy hitters - Voice over Internet Protocol usage, webinars, and backup processes - that will use considerably more.

      Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize the impact that insufficient bandwidth can have on your business’ operations. For example, you could throttle some of your less-important tasks, thereby saving more bandwidth for more critical ones, or simply scheduling as many of the processes that require a lot of bandwidth to take place after hours. Uploading a backup is a good example of this, as it requires a lot of bandwidth, so performing it after hours means that you won’t be interrupting other tasks.

      Of course, one of the most helpful things to do that helps you optimize your available bandwidth is to find out how much bandwidth you actually have available.

      Evaluating Your Network

      When it comes to evaluating your bandwidth needs, there are a few different routes that you can take. There are speed tests available online that can give you an estimate of your bandwidth by comparing it to your approximate network traffic. One resource worth using is Speedtest.net.

      However, if you are considering implementing VoIP or the other processes we mentioned above, there are other considerations you should look into, including:

      • Mean Opinion Score (MOS)
        The MOS was once entirely generated via feedback and opinions from human users. Specifically to VoIP, it is now generated based on an algorithmic analysis of three different metrics (those metrics being listening quality, conversational quality, and transmission quality) to give a score between 0-and-5 (or incoherent-to-excellent). I know I don’t need to tell you that you want your business to have high-quality calls.

      • Quality of Service (QoS)
        Much like the MOS, the QoS of your VoIP solution is an important consideration in how successful you can consider your implementation of VoIP to be. Bandwidth plays a considerable role in defining the QoS.

      • Jitter
        This is the term used to identify delays in data packet delivery to a network, recognizable by sounds that are choppy or lag. You should be aiming for minimal jitter, which translates to consistent packet delivery.

      • Latency (Ping Rate)
        This is the term to describe the milliseconds-long delay that results from information moving from point-to-point. Ideally, this number is small and consistent, but this isn’t always the case. If a ping takes an abnormally long time to reach somewhere on the Internet and come back to your network, you have a MS spike, and potentially, a problem.

      • Codec
        Whatever kind of broadcasting you may be engaged in (including VoIP), some data compression can be helpful, but swiftly becomes an issue if the audio quality is no longer sufficient. For instance, if you were using VoIP, you could compress the call to limit the bandwidth used, but this means the quality would suffer, and make the call harder to understand. Of course, a little compression may not be an issue, so to keep it to a minimum, make sure you have sufficient bandwidth to accommodate peak usage times.

      We Can Help with a Network Evaluation!

      Digital Seattle has the skill to not only identify potential bandwidth issues, we can help you to resolve them as well! To learn more about what we can do to help your business function efficiently, give our team a call at (206) 709-9556!

      Learn More

      Control Your Profile, Part III

      Let’s face facts, with over 2.4 billion active monthly users on the platform, there is no way that you are the only one to wonder about your account’s privacy. When it comes down to it, the most effective way to keep sensitive data safe on social media is to not put it on social media in the first place.

      Of course, it would be naive to assume that your input is the only way that Facebook can collect information about you. Today, we’ll resolve some of that naivety by going over the multitude of settings Facebook has that allow it to collect massive amounts of data about you, and how you can adjust these settings to limit the amount that you are (perhaps unwittingly) sharing.

      The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Facebook

      Facebook, once a place to share vacation photos, curiously check in on your ex on occasion, and to wait for your crops to be ready to harvest (Drat! I was too late again!), is now seen as a very different place. Businesses have recognized the benefits of using social media - especially Facebook - and are doing so to their own advantage.

      The Good

      In fairness, there’s no denying that Facebook does have some benefits to it. The ease of reconnecting with friends, family, and associates is apparent - when was the last time you heard of someone exchanging phone numbers over adding each other on Facebook? The platform has served businesses in their attempts to onboard stable employees, as a hiring manager can often pre-screen applicants based on the activity on their accounts. Civilian journalism has exploded worldwide thanks to Facebook, and businesses have used the platform to both broadcast their messaging and interact with their audiences for little-to-no cost on their part. Advertisers have utilized the platform to great effect, getting more for each dollar than they would if they were to use other platforms.

      The Bad

      Privacy has always been Facebook’s Achilles heel - the lack thereof putting many users at ill ease. Anything and everything that you’ve ever added to the platform has contributed to its profile of you (not your profile… its).

      Assuming you’re a Facebook user, you’ve likely been on the platform for years. Every post, every ‘like’, every interaction you’ve had, they’ve all contributed to Facebook’s understanding of you. Facebook learns what you like so it can more effectively send advertisements your way. Many users noticed this shift when the Timeline feature became more of a “Likeline” feature, predicting content that the user would enjoy, rather than just showing them everything in the order it was posted.

      Furthermore, Facebook has engaged in some very questionable practices over the years. While we don’t want to focus too much on any one event, we decided it would be beneficial to go over a few of the problematic actions that Facebook has taken, from the very beginning.

      The Ugly

      • In 2007, Facebook introduced a feature where companies could track a Facebook user’s purchases and notify their friends of what the user had bought.
      • In 2011, the FTC charged Facebook for allowing third parties to access user data without informing the users that their data was suddenly made public.
      • In 2013, Facebook featured a “Donate” button that allowed users to make donations to charities. The issue was that a bug then leaked over six million sets of email addresses and phone numbers.
      • In 2014, Facebook took it upon themselves to run sociological and psychological experiments on their users, attempting to determine if exposure to depressing content would make users more depressed. As Facebook discovered, it does!
      • In 2015, Facebook took a step forward and addressed the privacy concerns that were increasing among their users. This step involved rescinding the boundless access that applications once had to private user data… but what were applications allowed to do before this?
      • In 2018, it was revealed that Facebook had suffered a breach of 50 million users’ data, and it wasn’t until their reputation took some damage that any steps were taken about it.

      Since it was founded in 2004, Facebook has been no stranger to privacy concerns and issues, but this doesn’t mean you necessarily need to delete your account. Despite these concerns, it is still a popular platform and can be legitimately useful.

      However, there is no reason that this usefulness has to come at the cost of your privacy, so we’ve assembled the options you need to go through to restrict the information you share.

      Facebook’s Extensive Privacy Options

      To start, you need to log in to Facebook on a desktop.

      At the top right corner, you’ll find a small down arrow. Clicking it will give you a variety of options, including Settings.

      Select Privacy.

      From there, you can adjust your privacy options for specific groups of people:

      Public

      Any information shared publicly can be seen by anyone - even those who aren’t Facebook friends of yours, and even those who aren’t signed into Facebook. Hypothetically, this means that your information is accessible to search engines and other similar presences on the Internet.

      Friends

      If you have added each other as Facebook Friends, the information is visible to them.

      Friends except…

      This setting allows you to filter out individuals, or members of groups you create, from seeing certain things on your Facebook. For instance, if you have connections to some of your employees on Facebook, you can add them to a group, unique to you, and prevent them from seeing certain content you post.

      Only me

      Or really, only you and Facebook can see this content. For safety’s sake, make sure that you still only post the kind of materials that you don’t mind others seeing.

      Facebook also allows you to be even more granular, only allowing certain Facebook Friends to see certain things you’ve posted and giving you greater control. 

      Here are the many options you can tweak to properly secure your Facebook’s visibility:

      Who can see your future posts?
      This option allows you to set the standard for your future Facebook posts - that all of your posts will be public, or only visible to friends, et cetera. Of course, you can alter a post’s visibility on a case-by-case basis - this option effectively sets the default.

      Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in.
      The Activity Log enables you to scroll through your entire Facebook Timeline and manage the permissions associated with your past posts, as well as review any posts that friends have tagged you in.

      Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public.
      By clicking Limit Past Posts, you can mass-change your permissions by changing any past posts from Public to only Friends. However, once you’ve done so, there is no way to switch back in the same way. Instead, you would have to manually go through your posts to change the privacy settings for each.

      Who can send you friend requests?
      Your options here are either Everyone, or just Friends of friends. Leaving this set to everyone is most likely harmless.

      Who can see your friends list?
      This, on the other hand, is definitely something you should keep restricted to Only me. Facebook notwithstanding, you don’t want everyone and their brother being able to see who you are connected with.

      Who can look you up using the email address you provided?
      This one is really up to you, despite the fact that it is probably unnecessary. That’s why we recommend restricting this option to Friends or Only me.

      Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?
      Similarly, there really isn’t a reason to have this enabled, so the same logic stands in setting this to Friends or Only me.

      Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?
      While Facebook only has so much influence over how the assorted search engines work, one thing it can do is prevent your profile from being indexed when this option is set to No. Alternatively, if you do want people to be able to locate your profile via a quick Google search, set this option to Yes.

      Controlling How Others Can Interact with Your Personal Facebook Profile

      While you’re in your Facebook Settings, navigate to Timeline and Tagging, which can be found on the left. You can use these settings to control who can post to your Timeline, and who can see this content when they visit your profile.

      Who can post on your timeline?
      You have the option to allow your friends to do so, or to restrict it to Only me so only you can add content to your profile.

      Who can see what others post on your timeline?
      This option is very heavily influenced by your selection for the above option. If you are allowing friends to post on your timeline, you should definitely restrict who can see these posts.  Setting this to Friends means that all of your friends will be able to see it, while setting it to Only Me is perhaps the safest route for your reputation.

      Allow others to share your posts to their stories?
      In other words, do you want your friends to be able to share what you’ve posted publicly? This is a good way to spread your influence through Facebook as well as how good content is shared around the social network, so it makes sense to leave this capability enabled.

      Who can see the posts you’re tagged in on your timeline?
      While you may not be able to control who tags you in certain posts, you can control who sees these posts. If you’d rather keep your personal life private - or protect your loved ones from some of the antics that your friends post to your Facebook profile - you will want to limit this to your Friends… or even Only me.

      Review posts you’re tagged in before the post appears on your timeline?
      This is effectively the nuclear option where the previous setting is concerned, as you will have full control over what appears on your timeline. However, it is important to keep in mind that this doesn’t prevent you from being tagged in the post until you vet it - if your friend Matt tags you in a post, all of his friends will be fully able to see it, whether or not you have yet. Regardless, you want to have this option enabled, and set to on.

      Review tags people add to your posts before the tags appear on Facebook? You are going to want this set to on as well.

      Managing Public Posts

      Still working in Settings, find Public Posts to the left and click into it.

      Who Can Follow Me
      You can look at “followers” as a version of friends that you don’t interact with directly, in many ways, similar to a lot of Twitter users. You can effectively allow the general public to do so by setting this option to Public, or restrict access to your posts to only your friends by, well, setting this option to Friends.

      Public Post Comments
      This is the place that you choose who it is that can comment on your posts. You can establish this to be restricted to Friends, or your Friends of Friends to expand the range of people that can comment on posts.

      Public Profile Info
      Some pieces of data on your Facebook profile are set to be visible to everyone - such as your name and profile picture. This setting allows you to limit the ability of the greater Facebook user base to comment on your information. It’s recommended that you lock this down to Friends or Friends of Friends.

      Allowing Facebook to Know Where You Are

      Facebook has been famously able to track your location history. While this isn’t shared with your friends, it is pretty obvious that it is used in order to target ads to you, the user. Going off of the platform’s shaky history of user privacy alone, it makes sense to limit what the platform can access.

      To do so, access the Facebook Settings page, and on the left-hand side, click Location. To find out what Facebook already knows about your activities, you can View your Location History. In order to deactivate these features, you need to access the mobile application.

      From the Facebook Application:

      Tap into the 3-bar hamburger icon on the top right, and then scroll down to Settings & Privacy, access them, and then enter the Privacy Shortcuts. This gives you access to various security settings and documentation that explains how Facebook permits you to control your online identity.

      Find the option to Manage your location settings (it should be visible on the screen upon loading). Tap Location Access and disable Location History, and tap Locations Services and flip Use Location to off.

      You will also see an option to adjust Background Location, although you may need to go back a step from your phone to find it. If it isn’t already disabled, switch it off.

      While we’re here, let’s delete your location history.

      Still from the Facebook mobile application, tap into the three-bar hamburger icon, to the top right. From there, scroll down to Settings & Privacy, then Privacy Shortcuts.

      Select Manage your location settings and tap View Your Location History. At this point, you will be prompted to enter your password.

      Once accepted, tap the three-dot settings icon at the top right.

      Tap Delete all location history. Now, keep in mind that if you post a photograph that tags your location or you check into a public place, Facebook could be getting access to your location data once again.

      This is a lot to take in!

      If you’ve made it this far, you’re likely pretty concerned that there are so many settings that aren’t disabled on your own settings. Digital Seattle is critically concerned about your privacy as well. If you’re looking to protect your business a little more, we have a lot of information available right now in our blog, and we’re available at (206) 709-9556 as well.

      Learn More

      Control Your Profile, Part II

      Making it a priority to know how to take control over your personal information on Facebook is a good place to start. Let’s run through Facebook’s privacy settings, and get you set up with two-factor authentication.

      Let’s start from a PC. Head over to facebook.com and log in.

      Making Sense of Facebook’s Security and Privacy Options

      Once you’re logged in to facebook.com, you’ll want to click the little down arrow on the top right of the page. In that menu click on Settings. This can get a little confusing, so if you ever need to start from the beginning know that using the little down arrow can bring you back. 

      Make Sure the General Account Settings are Right

      You will want to verify that you own and control all of the email accounts tied to your Facebook account. If you used an old email address (that you can’t get into), you’ll have a hard time getting back into the account if something were to happen. 

      Security and Login - Find Out Where You’ve Logged into Facebook

      Click Security and Login on the right.

      On this screen, you can see all the devices your Facebook account is currently signed into. You will be confused why there are so many, but think about it: how long have you been using Facebook? For many people it’s not out of line to suggest that they are on their fourth or fifth phone since first using the Facebook app. This means that these devices will show up. You don’t use a Nokia Lumia 920 any longer? Not many people do. Facebook gives you the option to sign out of any of these devices by accessing the three-dot icon next to the device’s name. 

      It’s a good practice to keep your account logged out on devices you don’t typically use to access Facebook. If you see any suspicious devices among your list of approved devices, you will immediately need to change your password (directions below).

      Change Your Password

      Changing your password regularly is a good idea, but you definitely don’t want to use the same password over multiple accounts. To do so here, you will want to click on the down arrow on the top right of Facebook, going to Settings, and clicking Security and Login.

      How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication

      If you haven't heard of two-factor authentication, it is the practice of setting your account up with an additional layer of security. To get started, select Use two-factor authentication and click edit. Click Get Started.

      A screen will pop up that gives you two Security Methods. Before choosing an option, you should understand both.

      Option 1 - Authentication App - Clicking on this option will allow you to use a third-party app to authenticate your identity. Popular authentication apps include Google Authenticator, Last Pass Authenticator, or Duo Mobile. Using the authentication app option is more secure than option 2, but it does require you to have access to the mobile device that the authenticator app is installed on. 

      To set this up, open your authentication app on your mobile device. It makes the most sense to use the authenticator app that you use for other accounts, but if you don’t have one, and you have a Google account, use Google Authenticator. 

      Then, from Facebook on your computer (see the above screenshot), select Authentication App and click Next.

      Facebook will present you with a QR code to scan. In your Authenticator App, add a new account (typically there is a + icon to tap) and scan the QR code. Once scanned, the app will generate a six-digit number to use. Facebook will ask for a Confirmation Code. Type in the six-digit number and you’ll be set.

      Option 2 - Text Message - Option number two sends a code via text message to your mobile device. Make sure that you enter the correct number. This method may not be as secure as using an authentication app, but for practical purposes it will do. 

      Select the Text Message option and click Next, Facebook will text you a code. Type that code into Facebook and voila, you are in.

      Depending on the option you choose, Facebook will walk you through the next steps to verify and enable two-factor.

      Add a Backup Plan
      Once you’ve set up your method, Facebook will provide you with an option to Add a Backup. If you chose to set up two-factor with an Authentication App then Facebook will allow you to set Text Message 2FA as a backup, and vice versa. It’s not a bad idea to set up the other method as well, just in case.

      Nowadays, a lot of online accounts offer 2FA, but Facebook also lets you have Recovery Codes (Google also does this, so if you have a Google account or use Gmail, it’s a good idea to get all of this set up over there as well).

      Back on the Two-Factor Settings page, under the Add a Backup, there is an option for Recovery Codes.

      Click Setup, and Facebook will pop up a window telling you about recovery codes and click Get Codes.

      At this time, Facebook will provide you with 10 recovery codes. You can use them in an emergency to get back into your account. These codes are just single-use 2FA codes, so you’ll need to know your password and one of these codes to get back into your account. Since these codes can only be used once, you can request 10 new codes at any time by returning to the Two-Factor Settings page. Keep these codes in a safe place to ensure your account isn’t accessed by anyone else.

      Setting Up Extra Security

      If you go back to the Security and Login area of the settings menu, scroll down to Setting Up Extra Security.

      This area allows you to set alerts when a new device or browser is used to log into your Facebook. The menu allows you to define additional email addresses. You can also have those notifications sent to you via Facebook Messenger, SMS, or as a Facebook notification. 

      Below that option, you can choose 3 to 5 Friends to Contact if you get locked out of your Facebook account. If you choose this option, you will want to make sure that you only list people that you trust. If they are like-minded about their own privacy, the better off you will be.

      This is admittedly a lot to take in, but setting up two-factor authentication and having control over who can access your Facebook account will go a long way toward securing your Facebook experience. You’ll still be inundated with stupid memes, but at least your personal data will remain secure. 

      Check back for part three of our Facebook privacy series and leave any thoughts you may have in the comments section below. 

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      Latest Blog Entry

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