The Thurston, Pierce, Lewis, and Mason Counties IT Experts


We work hard behind the scenes so annoying technology issues don't slow your business down.

Our mission is to help businesses like yours increase productivity and get more out of the technology you invest in.
We specialize in solutions that safeguard and protect your data and keep operations running smoothly.

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Intelligent remote monitoring, proactive maintenance, and behind-the-scenes remote support.

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Network Security

Protect your business from threats like malware, viruses, phishing attacks, hackers and other threads.

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Ensure peace-of-mind in any situation with the most complete data backup solution available.

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clipboard and laptopUnderstand what threats are in store for your business.

The Internet can be a dangerous place, especially now that hackers are taking advantage of advanced tools and threats. New types of malware, ransomware, and viruses are being created every day, for the express purpose of seeing your organization fail. If your business isn’t using comprehensive security solutions, you remain vulnerable to threats that can potentially compromise and damage your business’s IT infrastructure.

To help make cybersecurity easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of threats that your business should be prepared to face.

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT): An APT is a stealthy network breach that’s designed to remain undetected for a certain amount of time. APTs are usually used to steal information from a specific individual or organization over time, rather than cause an immediate disruption to operations.

Adware: Adware automatically displays ads on software, particularly web browsers, in an effort to generate revenue for its creator. Adware can often come packaged with free online software, and while it’s not immediately threatening, it can become a severe annoyance and potential security threat. When used as malware, adware can display unwanted (and often embarrassing) advertisements in the form of popups or web ads.

Botnet: A botnet is a collective term used for a network of devices built from “bots,” which are computers controlled remotely by a hacker. Botnets are typically used to complete repetitive tasks, like sending spam messages or participating in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Due to botnets spreading their infection to other computers, they’re often likened to a “zombie horde.”

Brute-force Attacks: Brute-force attacks are commonly used tactics to break into online accounts, particularly those that take advantage of encryption. A brute-force attack consists of the hacker rapidly inputting as many passwords as possible in an attempt to find the right combination of characters.

Command and Control Server: A command and control server (C&C server) is the central computer that remotely issues commands to botnets and other malware. These botnets and malware will then send information back to the C&C server, like sensitive data or account credentials.

Dictionary Attack: Dictionary attacks utilize known words or phrases in an attempt to crack through passwords and usernames. They can be used in conjunction with brute-force attacks to guess credentials and infiltrate accounts.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): A DDoS attack consists of multiple systems from varied locations target a single system. The resulting traffic is usually an attempt to bring down a server, forcing it offline until the attack ceases. DDoS attacks are often performed by botnets, compromised computers that have been enslaved by hackers to do their bidding.

Exploit: A loose definition would be a tool designed for use in exploiting a specific vulnerability within an IT system component, usually for the purpose of stealing data or installing malicious software.

Keylogging: A keylogger could be either a software or a hardware that’s designed to capture and record keystrokes. Software versions of keyloggers are often included in viruses or malware packages to capture credentials for later use. The victim is typically unaware that their activities are being monitored.

Malware: Malware, derived from “malicious software,” is a term used to describe any cyber threat that is intrusive and malicious in nature. This can include any number of online threats, including computer viruses, trojans, ransomware, spyware, and others. Malware is usually activated through the use of executable code or scripts. Basically, anything that has malicious intent can be considered malware.

Phishing: Phishing tactics are used by hackers to lure targets into handing over sensitive credentials, like usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and so on, usually through email spam tactics or other electronic means. Phishing tactics will often masquerade as a trusting or intimidating entity.

Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malware that attempts to extort money or credentials from users by locking down local files on their PC or workstation, usually through the use of encryption technology. The user may (or may not) receive the decryption key upon giving in to the hacker’s demands.

Social Engineering: Social engineering is a tactic used by hackers that appeals to the weaknesses of the end user. Hackers find ways to circumvent common security protocol by posing as important officials or users within a company, or even as an internal IT department. Social engineering tactics are cause for concern primarily because they target the unpredictable nature of human activity.

Spam: Spam is mostly known as the time-wasting emails that users receive on a daily basis. Technically, spam can be any unsolicited or unwanted message sent to your email address. These messages may not seem overtly malicious, but hackers will often use spam to achieve a certain agenda. Spam messages might come with malicious links or attachments, that when clicked on can execute code or send you to compromised websites.

Spear Phishing: Spear phishing tactics are focused phishing attempts on an individual, customized to appear as legitimate as possible. An example would be a local bank representative calling or sending an email asking to confirm credit card numbers or credentials.

Spoofing: Spoofing is the act of tricking users into believing that they’re viewing something legitimate, when in reality they’re only looking at a fake. For example, email spoofing is a common tactic in which hackers will pose as someone from your contacts, but will have the wrong email address. Another example would be clicking a link and having it take you to a website that looks like the one you want to view, but the domain name is wrong. The idea is that hackers can replicate legitimate email names and websites to trick users into succumbing to their attacks.

Spyware: Spyware is a type of malware that’s specifically designed to covertly gather information from a computer, and transfer that information to a hacker. Spyware can be difficult to identify due to it being designed to remain hidden.

Trojan: Also known as a backdoor or “Trojan horse,” a trojan is designed to infiltrate your network and create a reliable way to obtain access to the system in the future. Trojans are often used in conjunction with advanced persistent threats (APT) in an attempt to gather as much information as possible, while remaining hidden from security protocol.

Virus: A virus is a malware program that, when executed, attempts to replicate itself and spread to other computer components. Viruses are often disruptive and dangerous, especially in the business environment. They can slow business systems, delete critical data, and much more.

Vulnerability: A vulnerability, in terms of computing, is a bug or a problem within the code of operating systems and other software that needs to be fixed. Vulnerabilities leave networks open to potential threats, and are often resolved by patches and security updates issued by software manufacturers.

Zero-Day Exploits: This term applies to vulnerabilities which are presently unpatched or unresolved. These issues are often found in legacy software that’s incompatible with modern technology, like Windows XP.

Stay Safe Online with PC Technologies

Don’t be intimidated by online threats.

We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible for hackers and their technology. There are limitless possibilities for online threats, so it’s imperative that you arm yourself against these threats. For more information about these threats and how you can protect your business assets, contact PC Technologies at 360-491-2227.




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PC Technologies 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!

About PC Technologies

We are not your typical business, We are your business partners

We live by the idea that your business needs come first, so much so that our CEO W. Jeff Seeman has written a letter for you to read showing just how dedicated our team is to not only solving problems but your success!

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WARNING: We are about to let you in on a secret about how most computer companies really make their money! We will cover the three main types of IT companies and what you can expect out of them.

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What Our Clients Say

  • I highly recommend PC Technologies for any of your IT and/or computer needs
    Practice Manager at Robert GR Lang, MD Inc

    Jeff has provided computer components and IT services to our medical practice since 2007. He has seen us through a system conversion, office move, and EMR implementation, providing the peripherals and support needed to make a smooth transition each time. He and his staff are prompt, professional, and price conscious. I highly recommend PC Technologies for any of your IT and/or computer needs

  • Gets it fixed fast
    CPA

    Jeff and his staff installed a major computer upgrade for my office. There was no down time for my staff, the system works great and whenever there's glitch, Jeff, or one of his staff, gets it fixed fast.

  • No more having to take the computer into the store
    Director at Washington Gemological Laboratory

    I have relied on Jeff and his crew for not only minor 'bugs' that occur but also for swapping out the entire data from an older laptop into the one I currently use. They have always been able to do the job and quickly. Most of the time they are able to resolve the issue over the phone, while controlling my computer from their office. Love it!! Makes my life so much easier. No more having to take the computer into the store.

  • Jeff is the IT consultant for our company.
    Citizen Action Network at Freedom Foundation

    He goes the extra mile to ensure that all of our computer infrastructure is running smoothly. When we do encounter problems Jeff is quick to respond. He has become integral to our team--so much so, we should call him a staff member rather than a consultant.

  • PC Tech is a great place to get all of your IT needs.
    Branch Manager / Loan Officer at Weststar Pacific Mortgage

    Jeff is always available and works with you on the best possible solutions to ones needs. I would recommend PC Tech to anyone that is running a business and does not want to deal with IT.

  • Jeff is able to bridge the gap between IT professional and customer relationships very well.
    Board Member at Seattle Search Network

    I've recommended him to clients that are in need of IT services many times. Jeff is highly skilled in IT and understands the changing trends and its impact to the small business owner. I'd highly recommend Jeff to others seeking for an IT professional.

Latest Blogs

Making Sense of Facebook’s Privacy Settings

We said this in a previous blog post, but Facebook is huge. Almost a quarter of the world population is considered active on the platform. It has changed the way people communicate, and for better or worse it has become a major part of the lives of so many people.

I’d be willing to wager that most readers of our blog understand that, for the most part, if you want to control your privacy online, you need to limit what you put online. At least, that’s a big part of privacy. Unfortunately, with mobile devices, location sharing, and machine learning, services are able to collect a lot of information that you aren’t directly giving it voluntarily. 

Let’s Recap - Should I Just Quit Facebook?

We’re going to leave that ultimate decision up to you, but regardless of how you feel about social media and Facebook in general, there are plenty of pros and cons to being an active Facebook user.

What are the pros? There’s the obvious stuff - Facebook is a great platform to communicate with friends, colleagues, and family. Facebook Messenger is a pretty feature-rich instant messenger with group chat capabilities. Many businesses and organizations use Facebook as one of their main platforms to communicate with clients and customers, either through Facebook pages or Facebook groups. Plus, businesses can run fairly cost-effective targeted advertisements through Facebook with better accuracy than most other ad platforms.

The downsides? Privacy. All of the information we punch into Facebook goes to Facebook. It helps Facebook learn about us. Facebook watches how you interact with posts and what you scroll through. After hours and hours of this, year after year, like after like, Facebook really starts to figure out who you are, maybe even more than you think you are letting on. It uses this information to help target ads and curate the posts you see in your timeline. 

As we’ve seen historically, Facebook has also done some pretty shady things with our personal data. Without going too deep into any particular topic, here are a few quick examples to refresh your memory:

The last few years have been busy for Facebook, and we’re only focusing on privacy-related issues, and not even touching on other, more volatile topics of discussion that the social network has gotten wrapped up in.

You don’t need to jump ship, but you do need to control what information is shared.

If you are like many, you might not love everything that has to do with Facebook, but you probably do benefit from having a massive social platform that you can use to communicate with friends, family, fans, clients, and prospects. Privacy is more important than ever. Let’s log in and take a look at how we can gain control over your information.

Facebook’s Privacy Options

Log in to your Facebook account on your desktop.

On the top right, there is a small down arrow. Click it and go to settings.

From there, click Privacy.

Facebook generally lets you set privacy options for a few different groups of people:

Public - Anyone can see this information, even if they are not Facebook friends, and even if they aren’t signed into Facebook, In theory, this means search engines and other online entities can see your information as well.

Friends - This means only people you are Facebook friends with can see the information.

Friends except… - This lets you filter out some friends or specific user-created groups from seeing certain information. For example, you can create a group called “employees” and put your employees who have added you on Facebook in it. Then you can lock down some content and forbid those friends from seeing it.

Only me - This means none of your friends can see the information, and that it is strictly between you and Facebook. Still, don’t share anything that you wouldn’t want getting out there.

You can also choose specific Facebook friends who can see certain content, if you wish.

Let’s take a look at each option. Fortunately, Facebook does a pretty good job explaining these in plain English.

Who can see your future posts? This option allows you to set the default privacy setting on future Facebook posts. You can always manually change it on a per-post basis, this just sets the standard.

Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in. If you click Use Activity Log you will be able to scroll through your entire timeline and manage the permissions of your previous posts. This is also where you’ll find posts that you have been tagged in from friends. 

Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public? If you click Limit Past Posts, you can quickly lock down all of your past posts by changing them from Public to Friends only. Careful though, Facebook doesn’t let you revert this very easily. If you decide you wanted your posts to be public, you’d need to go through them by hand to change the privacy settings.

Who can send you friend requests? You can either set this to Everyone or Friends of friends. This is one of the few cases where it probably doesn’t hurt to leave it set to everyone.

Who can see your friends list? This is definitely one you should lock down. You don’t need everyone in the world seeing who your Facebook contact list is. Setting this to Only me will keep that information private (well, Facebook will still know, but most users won’t).

Who can look you up using the email address you provided? You can decide if the general public can find you on Facebook via your email address. For most of us, we probably don’t need that, so locking this down to Friends or Only me is probably a good call.

Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? Again, you probably don’t need the public using this, so setting it to Friends or Only me will give you more control over your identity.

Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile? Although Facebook doesn’t really control how Google, Bing, and the other search engines work, you can dissuade your Facebook profile from being indexed by the search engines with this option. If your personal brand is important and you want people to be able to find your profile when Googling your name, keep this set to Yes.

Control How Others Interact with Your Personal Facebook Profile

Still under Facebook’s Settings area, click Timeline and Tagging on the left. These settings let you choose whether or not others can post content to your timeline, and who can see this content.

Who can post on your timeline? You can choose Friends or lock it down to Only me so nobody can post to your profile.

Who can see what others post on your timeline? If you choose Friends for the above option, you should definitely lock down who can see it. Setting this to Friends will limit who sees your friend’s post, and Only me will prevent a Facebook friend from hurting your reputation.

Allow others to share your posts to their stories? Facebook breaks this one out pretty clearly - if you post something publicly, do you want friends to be able to share it? This is how good content gets shared around Facebook, so you may want to leave this enabled.

Who can see posts you’re tagged in on your timeline? Friends can tag you in a Facebook post, but you can control who can see it. If you want to hide your personal life or have some rambunctious Facebook friends, you may want to set this to Only me or at least lock it down to just Friends.

Review posts you’re tagged in before the post appears on your timeline? You’ll be able to vet the content you are tagged in, but remember, if Jack tags you in a post, all of Jack’s friends will be able to see it before you get a chance to review it. You should definitely set this to on.

Review tags people add to your posts before the tags appear on Facebook? Definitely set this to on.

Managing Public Posts

Still in the Settings page of Facebook, click Public Posts on the left-hand side.

Who Can Follow Me - Followers are sort of like one-sided friends. It might be somebody who sent you a friend request that you chose to ignore. If you want the general public to be able to see your posts and follow you, set the option to Public. If you want to only allow friends to see your post, change this setting to Friends.

Public Post Comments - This is where you choose who can comment on your public posts. You can lock this down to just Friends, or Friends of Friends if you wanted a bit of a wider berth. 

Public Profile Info - Some parts of your Facebook profile are available for the general public (your name and profile image, for example). Do you want just anyone to be able to comment on your profile image or other biographical information? Locking this down to Friends or Friends of Friends is usually a good idea.

Want Facebook to Know Where You Are?

Facebook can track your location history. They don’t share that data to your friends, but… honestly we couldn’t find a whole lot of reasons why Facebook wants to collect this data other than to serve you targeted ads. We hope that’s all it is used for, but it’s better to be safe. As mentioned above, Facebook does have a little bit of a history of not keeping your data safe.

From the Facebook Settings page, click Location on the left-hand side. You can View your Location History to see what Facebook already knows about you. In order to turn the feature off, you need to log into the mobile app.

On your Facebook App:
Tap the 3-bar hamburger icon on the top right. Then scroll down and tap Settings & Privacy, and then Privacy Shortcuts. You’ll find a whole new area with various security settings and documentation on how Facebook lets you control your identity. 

Look for Manage your location settings which should be on screen without needing to scroll down.

Tap Location Access and turn off Location History. Tap Location Services and turn “Use Location” to off.

You’ll also see an option for Background Location. You might need to go back a step on your phone to get to it. You’ll want to turn that off as well, if it isn’t already.

Let’s go ahead and delete your location history too.

Again, from the Facebook mobile app, tap the 3-bar hamburger icon on the top right. Then scroll down to Settings & Privacy and then Privacy Shortcuts

Choose Manage your location settings and tap View Your Location History

Facebook will prompt you for your password.

Tap the 3-dot settings icon on the top right.

Tap Delete all location history

Keep in mind, if you post a photo that tags your location, or check in to a public place, you might be granting Facebook access to your location data again.

Apps and Websites That You’ve Connected to Facebook

One last thing - some websites and applications will let you log in via Facebook. For example, Spotify will let you create an account with your Facebook account, and the dating app Tinder will use your Facebook profile image for your Tinder profile. 

This is fine, if you’ve locked down your Facebook account and are protecting your login with two-factor authentication and a secure password, and you are controlling the data that you give to Facebook, then these other applications aren’t going to be much of an issue.

However, it is worth auditing the applications and websites you’ve given access to your Facebook. If you don’t use something anymore, or you don’t recognize something, it’s best to revoke its access.

Google has a similar feature. You can access it by logging in to your Google account and go to their security settings.

For Facebook, from your computer, click the down arrow icon on the top right and choose settings.

Then click Apps and Websites on the left-hand side.

Review the Active apps and remove any that you no longer need.

Be sure to check the Expired tab on the top as well. These apps are still technically attached to your account, but they haven’t been used recently. 

You can click on each app and website to see what information is shared.

Was That Overwhelming?

That’s Facebook in a nutshell. It’s a massive platform used by 25 percent of all humans on a regular basis. Protecting your data and your identity is important. If you are looking to protect your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Give us a call at 360-491-2227.

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Take Control Over Your Facebook Security Settings and 2FA

First, let’s log in to Facebook on a computer to manage the bulk of the security settings.

Making Sense of Facebook’s Security and Privacy Options

Log in to Facebook.com and click the little down arrow on the top right. Then click Settings. If you ever get lost during this guide, you can get back to where you need to be by coming back to this point.

We’re going to spend quite a bit of time here. Let’s start with a little general housekeeping.

Verify the General Account Settings are Correct

Make sure you own and control all of the email accounts tied to your Facebook account. This is just good practice for all of your online accounts - every ecommerce site, every social network, every service you sign up for - if any account is tied to an older email address that you don’t check anymore or don’t have access to, 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.

First, Facebook will show you all of the recent devices logged into your account. It will show you approximately where geographically the device was, the browser used, and when it was last active. Obviously, if you see something suspicious here, you should change your password right away (the options for that are directly below). Additionally, you can click the 3-dot icon on the right next to any login and log that device out.

If It’s Been a While, Take a Moment to Change Your Password

While we’re here, it wouldn’t hurt to create a new Facebook password. You should consider doing this across all of your accounts regularly (at least every 6-to-12 months, but more often for critical accounts like your bank and email).

Just as a reminder, you can get there by clicking on the down arrow on the top right of Facebook, going to Settings, and clicking Security and Login.

Make sure to never use the same password for two different accounts online.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Directly below the password options are settings for two-factor authentication (2fa). This adds additional security to your account in case your password gets stolen. Select Use two-factor authentication and click edit. Facebook will take you to a page that walks you through setting it up. From there, click Get Started.

You will be given two Security Methods. We recommend understanding both options before choosing one:

Option 1 - Authentication App - This lets you use a third-party authentication app like Google Authenticator or Duo Mobile to generate the login code. This is a little bit more secure, but it does require you to have access to the mobile device that the authenticator app is installed on. 

To set this up, open the Google Authenticator or Duo Authenticator or LastPass Authenticator 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 give you a square barcode called 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 6-digit number to use. Facebook will ask for a Confirmation Code. Type in the 6-digit number and you’ll be set.

Option 2 - Text Message - Facebook will send a code to your phone number. You’ll want to make sure your phone number is accurate and can receive texts. This isn’t as secure as using an authentication app, because it is technically possible for a hacker to intercept your text messages, but it’s definitely better than nothing.

Setting this up is simple, once you choose Text Message and click Next, Facebook will text you a code. Type that code into Facebook and you’ll be set.

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

Add a Backup
Once two-factor authentication is set up, Facebook will give you an option to Add a Backup. If you choose 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.

Lots of online accounts offer 2FA, and some of them (like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon) will give you backup options as a way of giving you an alternative way in in case your primary method of 2FA isn’t available. Let’s say you were using text messages for your 2FA and you get forced into a situation to change your cell phone number. You’d be in a difficult situation if you didn’t have a backup option.

Facebook also lets you grab Recovery Codes (by the way, Google does this too, 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 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.

Facebook will give you 10 recovery codes that you can use in an emergency to get back into your account. These codes basically work as one-off 2FA codes, so you’ll need to know your Facebook password and one of these 10 codes to get back into your account.

Remember, these recovery codes can only be used once. You can request 10 new codes at any time by going back to the Two-Factor Settings page, but you can’t use the same code twice. It’s also very important that you keep them in a safe place, but not make it clear to anybody what they are. Write them down on an index card with a big “F” written in the corner and keep it in your wallet.

Setting Up Extra Security

Back in the Security and Login area of Facebook’s Settings, scroll down to Setting Up Extra Security.

This area allows you to get alerts sent to you when a new device or browser is used to log into Facebook. It’s pretty straight forward, you can even define additional email addresses if you want. You can also have those notifications sent to you via Facebook Messenger, SMS, or as a Facebook notification. We definitely recommend at least having it set up to email you.

Below that option, you can choose 3 to 5 Friends to Contact if you get locked out. If you set this option up, make sure you only put in people you can trust. Also, it might be a good idea to only add a contact who you feel takes their security seriously. Otherwise, turn off this option.

We realize this has been a lot, but by setting up 2FA and controlling who and what device has access to your Facebook account, you are taking a big step in controlling your online identity. We encourage you to take time to review all of your social media, bank accounts, online shopping accounts, email accounts, and other services you are signed up with to prevent unauthorized access. 

Our next Facebook article will be about protecting your privacy, so be sure to follow our blog for more tips and best practices for protecting both your personal identity and your business!

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How To Get Control Over Your Facebook

Grab Everything that Facebook Knows About You

First and foremost, you should download everything you’ve ever told Facebook about you. 

Of course, Facebook might know more about you than you’ve told it, and we’ll be grabbing all of that information too. After 2018’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, where it was exposed that a third-party Facebook app developer was selling the personal data of Facebook users, the social network vowed to be more transparent about the data they collect. We’re all for that.

Facebook has even made it pretty easy to do so. We’ll provide the steps if you are on a computer first, and after that we’ll walk you through how to do it from the mobile app.

On a desktop or laptop:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account.
  2. If you are on a desktop or laptop, click the down arrow on the top right and go to Settings.
  3. On the left, click Your Facebook Information.
  4. Facebook will present you with five options. Look for Download Your Information.
  5. Click View, Facebook will give you a screen where you can choose the date range and format of the data. Since in this case, we want to download everything, we’re going to set the Date Range to All of my data and set Media Quality to High. This means we’ll get a higher quality version of all of our photos and videos in the download.
  6. Click Create File and Facebook will start building the download. This can take a while, but Facebook will give you a notification when your data is ready for download.
  7. Once Facebook gives you the notification, click it and Download your data.

From the Facebook mobile app:

  1. Tap the 3-bar hamburger icon in the top right of the app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Settings & Privacy, and then tap Settings.
  3. Tap Download Your Information.
  4. Leave all of the options checked, and scroll down. Ensure the Date Range is set to All of my data and that Media Quality is set to High.
  5. Tap Create File and Facebook will give you a notification when the data is ready for download.

In my experience, it took Facebook about an hour before I received the notification. Also, keep in mind, depending on how active you are on Facebook, this file can get pretty big. For some it could be a few hundred MB, and in other cases it could be several GB of data.

While we wait, let’s talk about the other options on the Your Facebook Information page on the desktop:

Access Your Information - This lets you view virtually everything Facebook knows about you from within Facebook. It breaks down all of the data into several categories, such as Posts, Photos, and Location. Essentially these options just send you around Facebook to show you your information. This is nice, but our goal here is to own a copy of all of our Facebook data outside of Facebook.

Activity Log - This redirects you to all of your Facebook posts and your Timeline Review. This is a nice way to review your old posts over the years, but this area only scratches the surface of what Facebook really knows about you.

Managing Your Data - This area is essentially a glorified FAQ for managing your data. The page will ask if you want help with Facebook or Instagram, and then feed you a few predefined questions to choose from, and attempt to send you to the right area on Facebook to adjust the settings. It’s kind of a round-about way to manage your permission settings or report an issue.

Deactivation and Deletion - Like the name suggests, this area lets you either deactivate your account temporarily, or permanently delete your Facebook account.

What Does Facebook Know About You?

Once you’ve downloaded the file, you can dig through things to really get a feel for how much Facebook knows about you. There are the obvious things, like your posts and photos.

Then things get pretty… interesting.

For example, Facebook can track your location history. I was able to pull up a day two weeks ago and see exactly when I left my house to come to the office, when I left the office for lunch, and when I went downtown to run errands after work. In some cases, it knew exactly where I went (right down to the name of the store) but in most cases, it said “Place in Olympia.”

Under Ads, you can see a list of advertisers who have uploaded a contact list with your information. In other words, these advertisers previously had your information already and then possibly ran ads targeting you. It’s actually pretty unnerving… or fun, depending on your view on life and privacy. Let’s be honest, it’s mostly unnerving.

Wait! Before You Jump Ship and Quit Facebook Forever…

Yes, Facebook knows a lot of information about us. Yes, Facebook has been irresponsible with what they know and the power they have. With that said, with a quarter of the world population active on the social network, we’re all in this boat together. There are a lot of positives to Facebook too, and as long as you are careful with the information you feed it (and understand where Facebook gets all of its other information about you), you can still take advantage of all of the positive aspects of Facebook without feeling like Mark Zuckerberg is watching you sleep.

Remember, Facebook is still a great platform for:

  1. Reconnecting with friends and family
  2. Following businesses and organizations you like
  3. Joining groups and sharing interests with new people
  4. Marketing your business and keeping in touch with customers

We’re going to review all of Facebook’s current privacy settings in a future blog, and walk you through how to protect your identity without feeling like you need to change your name and move to a cabin in the mountains.

Did you review your downloaded Facebook data? Did you learn something about yourself that you didn’t know before? If you find anything juicy that you’d like to share with us in the comments, please do! Otherwise, stay tuned for our next post!

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We’ve been talking about Facebook quite a bit on our blog, and for good reason - we’re all concerned with our privacy, and Facebook has been notoriously front-and-center when it comes to Internet privacy. In this post we will break down Facebook’s privacy settings to help yo...

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