Network Notebook

It is important when working with a third party IT company or volunteers that you have an onsite person from your organization who has full access to all your technology.  It is also important to have any third party IT company fill out something similar to what we call the Network Notebook.  Your onsite person should keep a copy of this information as well.

Some of the items in this Network Notebook are:

  • How your network is configured
  • Backdoor access to your network (for emergencies)
  • Server and Workstation configuration
  • Important software for your organization
  • Who is your ISP service, account number, phone, etc.
  • Who is your Hosting provider, and how to access them

Performance Seattle and Seattle Open Budget

At his State of the City Speech on February 17, Mayor Ed Murray announced two new online tools based on open data.

Performance Seattle ( uses current data to monitor progress against the goals set for the future of the City of Seattle.  At present, nine City departments are contributing data about how well they are meeting their goals, such as reducing traffic fatalities, reducing our carbon footprint and responding quickly to fires.  In the coming months, all City departments will set performance targets and report regularly to the public on their progress.

Seattle Open Budget ( provides greater transparency into the City’s budget with graphs, charts and maps in an easy-to-use interface, and is a leap forward in budget reporting for our City.

Taken together, both of these resources will help us as a City achieve better goal-setting, better tracking, better use of data, and better outcomes.


City adopts privacy principles to protect the public

City Council unanimously approved a resolution on Monday to provide a framework for dealing with current and future technologies that impact privacy. This is a major step with the adoption of six privacy principles guiding the actions the City will take when collecting and using information from the public. The Council also established an August 2015 reporting deadline for City departments to create a “Privacy Toolkit,” a package of actionable privacy standards to enable City departments to comply with the adopted privacy principles. – See more here.

Mayor Murray’s State of the City

In his “State of the City” address before the Seattle City Council today, Mayor Ed Murray dedicated $35 million in City funding to support affordable housing in Seattle, doubled the City’s commitment to summer youth employment and unveiled government performance and budgeting web sites to bring new transparency to City departments.

Read Mayor Murray’s speech here or watch it at the Seattle Channel here.

Get your taxes done for free

Jan 13 – Apr 18, United Way Offers Free Tax Help

Take advantage of United Way’s Free Tax Preparation services. Neighborhood sites are open January 13 to April 18, 2015. Tax help is available in your neighborhood and in your language from IRS-certified volunteers. They’ll help you get all the credits you qualify for and file your return electronically, so you’ll get your refund fast. The best news: No appointment needed and no fees to pay.

For more information, please go: here.

Protecting portable devices

What is at risk?

Only you can determine what is actually at risk. If a thief steals your laptop or mobile device, the most obvious loss is the machine itself. However, if the thief is able to access the information on the computer or mobile device, all of the information stored on the device is at risk, as well as any additional information that could be accessed as a result of the data stored on the device itself.

Sensitive corporate information or customer account information should not be accessed by unauthorized people. You’ve probably heard news stories about organizations panicking because laptops with confidential information on them have been lost or stolen. But even if there isn’t any sensitive corporate information on your laptop or mobile device, think of the other information at risk: information about appointments, passwords, email addresses and other contact information, personal information for online accounts, etc.

How can you protect your laptop or internet-enabled device?

  • Password-protect your computer: Make sure that you have to enter a password to log in to your computer or mobile device (see Choosing and Protecting Passwords for more information).
  • Keep your valuables with you at all times: When traveling, keep your device with you. Meal times are optimum times for thieves to check hotel rooms for unattended laptops. If you are attending a conference or trade show, be especially wary—these venues offer thieves a wider selection of devices that are likely to contain sensitive information, and the conference sessions offer more opportunities for thieves to access guest rooms.
  • Downplay your laptop or mobile device: There is no need to advertise to thieves that you have a laptop or mobile device. Avoid using your device in public areas, and consider non-traditional bags for carrying your laptop.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: If you do use your laptop or mobile device in a public area, pay attention to people around you. Take precautions to shield yourself from “shoulder surfers”—make sure that no one can see you type your passwords or see any sensitive information on your screen.
  • Consider an alarm or lock: Many companies sell alarms or locks that you can use to protect or secure your laptop. If you travel often or will be in a heavily populated area, you may want to consider investing in an alarm for your laptop bag or a lock to secure your laptop to a piece of furniture.
  • Back up your files: If your mobile device is stolen, it’s bad enough that someone else may be able to access your information. To avoid losing all of the information, make backups of important information and store the backups in a separate location (see Good Security Habits for more information). Not only will you still be able to access the information, but you’ll be able to identify and report exactly what information is at risk.

What can you do if your laptop or mobile device is lost or stolen?
Report the loss or theft to the appropriate authorities. These parties may include representatives from law enforcement agencies, as well as hotel or conference staff. If your device contained sensitive corporate or customer account information, immediately report the loss or theft to your organization so that they can act quickly.
Mindi McDowell through US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)