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The Bay Area 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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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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When you just want IT to work!

There are a lot of computer shops out there that you can call up to fix an issue or install a piece of equipment. They might be able to get you out of crisis mode, but they aren’t looking at the full picture.

At 415 IT, 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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Do you have questions about IT Services and what they can do for your company? Fill out this simple form with your questions and our team respond promptly!

What Our Clients Say

  • ...there is virtually no down time...
    Vine Solutions

    Before Vine Solutions hired 415 IT, we tried to manage our IT on an as needed basis and our systems were a mess. Since hiring 415 IT, I feel like we have our very own IT person in house; they handle all of our IT needs and do it so there is virtually no down time during our business hours which is important for our growing business. 415 IT is my trusted IT source and has been involved in virtually every IT business decision that has allowed our business to prosper.

  • ...trusted advisor...

    415 IT has been managing our systems and technology for years. They are our trusted advisor when it comes to IT.

  • Very quick response time

    Very quick response time, as soon as an issue arises I receive a call back. We needed a new server installed within 1 week’s time and 415 IT made it happen without a glitch. Although our dedicated tech does not have a desk here, I feel as if we have access to his expertise immediately. Thanks for your great service.

  • ...professionalism and positive attitude.

    Gerken Capital Associates has been using the services of 415 IT for a number of years. We are always pleased with their professionalism and positive attitude. 415 IT is always on top of the latest technology and is able to accommodate us in a timely manner.

  • ...thrilled with 415IT.

    As a small business owner I am thrilled with 415IT. 415 IT replaced our traditional phone system; now we have increased functionality, great call quality all for a low price. We run a distributed business; 415 IT keeps our IT infrastructure running seamlessly. 415 IT is extremely responsive and a very reliable support. I highly recommend this firm.

  • The staff is great...

    We have been using 415IT for all our computer needs and have finally found a Company we can rely on for prompt and excellent service. The staff is great and they go above and beyond anything we have experienced before. It is very comforting to know that if we have problems with our computer system, that we have a Company that can provide with same day service.

  • ...I can concentrate on my job...

    As an entrepreneur running multiple business, I am absolutely dependent on technology for a competitive edge. With 415 IT managing our systems I can concentrate on my job, not my technology. When I have strategic questions about how to leverage technology to accomplish business goals, 415 IT acts as my virtual CIO. 415 IT enables me to make smart investments in our IT resources.

  • ...quick to respond to crises.

    Our firm, BCI Capital Management, has been utilizing the services of 415 IT since September, 2006. The service has covered a wide number of needs, ranging from the set-up of cell phones and recommending new hardware and software — to completely updating and streamlining computer networks. The staff are quick to respond to crises. The quality of service has been excellent. The cost of the service has been very reasonable.

  • Curteous and professional...

    Curteous and professional, I rely on 415it to help me keep our operations running smoothly. They are reliable, quick to repond, and incredibly knowledgeable. Everything they have reccommended has been an major improvement in effciency and productivity. I highy recommend them!

  • ..made our business more competitive.

    415IT has made our business more competitive. Thanks to their re-design of our computer network and immediate response to each and every support call there is no down time for our business communications. And I can actually understand them when we discuss solutions—no undecipherable tech speak!

  • ...excellent advice...

    415 IT was recommended to us by a client who found their services excellent. We could not agree more. 415 IT helped us move our offices seamlessly and install new systems; the staff are ALWAYS available to answer our questions and get our computers, emails, phones, everything, up and working. No question too dumb (or difficult). Finally, they have given excellent advice on acquisition of new phone systems, additional computers and software updates which have served us well. We are a law firm, so constant access is a must, including from outside the office. The 415 IT team has provided us equipment to provide our services from inside the office, and remotely, without interruption. We are grateful to 415 IT, and the entire staff.

  • ...completely organized and managed professionally.

    415IT is the most fabulous IT Solutions groups we’ve ever had at Juice Beauty! All of our computer hardware and software needs are completely organized and managed professionally. For several years, we have consistently received solid and valuable advice on every aspect of our computer needs including security, software, hardware, latest updates and more. One of the most valuable services 415 IT provides is that they are incredibly responsive and take ownership with ANY technical problems so we have zero downtime. We love our IT service from them!!

  • ...they always deliver.

    Since we signed on with 415 IT in 2005 they have become a part of the Canyon family. Our technology initiatives have consistently rolled out quickly, efficiently and without downtime. We travel a lot, when we call from a different time zone needing support, they always deliver. Finally a tech firm we can count on.

Latest Blogs

Smartphone Malware Is a Serious Threat

Malware and other cybersecurity threats are not a new thing to smartphones and mobile devices, but they don’t tend to get the same attention as threats that target Windows. This might be because, for the most part, mobile device malware is a little less common, or at least a little less intrusive. That doesn’t make it any less of a problem though.

You might also feel a little less at risk simply because of your relationship with your device. Our smartphone is often with us day and night, at work and at home. Combine that with the fact that most users use their smartphones in a sort of echochamber, they might not be directly exposed to threats as often as they are on a PC. We’ll get to more on this shortly, but first it’s important to break down the risks based on whether you have an iOS or Android device.

iPhone Malware

Apple may tout iOS as being the safest mobile operating system on the market, but it has never been completely safe. The biggest risks are only a problem for users who have jailbroken iPhones, meaning they ‘hacked’ their own device to allow themselves to bypass Apple’s built-in security restrictions. If you haven’t done that, you are avoiding a lot of risk. The other risk, which is less common, involves a more major type of risk called a zero-day hack. Zero-day hacks target devices that haven’t received a security update after the security update has been released to the public. 

The problem with iOS security is that there aren’t a lot of ways to prevent the issue, and you are really at the mercy of Apple to keep your device safe. They certainly want to keep their reputation, so trusting in them to do so isn’t invalidated.

Android Malware

Android is in a different situation. There are a lot more risks for Android devices, simply because there are many different manufacturers making and supporting the operating system. For example, Samsung uses a slightly customized version of Android, and if you have a Galaxy Note 10, you’ll get the latest updates to Android on a different schedule than Google’s Pixel. 

Android is also more open and flexible than iOS, which is why a lot of users prefer Android over iOS. If you want to install an application that hasn’t been vetted by Google, you can. You can also jailbreak an Android device, which, similar to jailbreaking an iPhone, can override some of the built-in security restrictions.

Even installing apps off of the Google Play Store can sometimes lead to malware being installed. Google has had to play cat-and-mouse with app developers to keep threats off the marketplace, but it has become clear that it really comes down to the user being careful with what they install.

That isn’t to say you should abandon Android or restrict your employees from using Android devices to access company email or other apps. Many long-time Android users never experience malware - it depends on how you use your device.

How to Protect Your Smartphone from Malware

Rely on that Echochamber - We mentioned this earlier, but both Android and iOS feature their own app stores. Although Android devices can install applications that aren’t on the Google Play store, most modern devices make it a little harder to do so, or at least add an extra step warning users that it might put their device at risk.

If you don’t jailbreak your phone, and you only install applications that are thoroughly vetted, positively reviewed, and come directly from the Apple App Store or Google Play, you will greatly reduce the risk of infecting your device.

Don’t Get Phished - Many threats these days don’t even rely on infecting a certain device to get things going. Instead, they rely on the end user to slip up and make a mistake. Phishing attacks are a prime example of this. A user will get a legitimate-looking email from a bank, online store, or other common online account and be asked to submit their login credentials. This email is actually spoofed and made to look real, and upon logging in, the password will be sent to a cybercriminal instead.

Install Anti-malware - Most antivirus and anti-malware software providers have Android apps. It’s not a bad idea to have something running on your phone to help protect you.

Establish Device Security Policies - If you are a business owner and your employees use their personal devices to check email, review documents, and communicate for work, it’s a good idea to establish a mobile device policy. You can require users to enable device locking, encryption, and other security features. This gets set up on your network, and when they sign in to their email on their device, their device has to comply with your company’s requirements before they can get access to anything.

We can help you protect your company data, including helping you establish centralized mobile device security policies. If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (415) 295-4898.

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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!

415 IT 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 (415) 295-4898!

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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. 415 IT 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 (415) 295-4898 as well.

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Know someone who would benefit from 415 IT? Let us know!

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