private browsing protectionOnline security is more important than ever.  A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, can help to secure your information while making your browsing habits private.

We use many different kinds of devices, and applications, these days running on our phones and computers. Many of the companies and service providers you use likely sell your personal information for profit. Companies such as Facebook not only track your activity while in the app, but also your activity outside of the app. They are tracking your website activity, contacts, what your phone hears verbally, logs network connections, phone types, apps installed, location (even when disabled).

Additionally, there are bad actors out there trying to steal your information, passwords, identities, records, and more. More than $700 billion dollars were stolen from unsuspecting US citizens in 2021.  They may use your credit cards for purchases, or open card or utility service accounts in your name. They can steal tax refunds, leverage your insurance, or pretend to be you. Some of this can be prevented by using a VPN service. These services will encrypt your personal information as it’s being sent online, keeping it secret. Some of these services will also block online ads from appearing in website and apps. They can also block phishing, malware, and other online threats.

Business owners also have a reason to use VPN’s: It helps to keep your customer data and accounts from prying eyes. Wicked Design supports hundreds of clients who each have their own online hosting accounts, credit cards, logins, email accounts, and more. Using a quality VPN service will help to prevent bad actors from obtaining this type of information. It’s basically a must to use a VPN service as you provide services to your customers.
A quality VPN service will also support your mobile devices, not just a computer. Many services allow your subscription to be used across many of your devices. Most will support 5 to 10 devices with a basic paid service. There are free VPN services out there, however, we’d recommend against using them. Why risk your personal information and online activity?
This link details the best VPN services, according to CNet: This article details which services provide the various features that help keep your information private, and their respective costs. Some of these features can be overwhelming, especially for non-technical folks. However, articles like this help to dispel what the various features are meant to provide.
safety comparisons

Benefits and downsides of using a VPN service

VPN Pros
  • Hides (encrypts) your data (and customers data) from internet service providers, social media platforms, Windows, iOS, browsers,  cellular/internet providers, apps, ad trackers
  • Hides sensitive personal/company information
  • Privacy while using public Wi-Fi
  • Surf from other “locations” to gain access to geo limited shows
  • Save on products and services – lower costs based on location
  • Document, password, and data privacy
  • Hides IP address from government and other agencies
  • Access to content from most locations (depending on VPN service)
  • Informs you of suspicious activity
  • Save money shopping online (geo locations)
  • Potentially get around internet provider bandwidth throttling
  • Secure Voice/Video chat
  • Supports private collaboration
  • Keeps your downloaded, or sent, files safe and anonymous
  • Protect your children’s activity online
VPN Cons
  • Potentially slower browsing
  • They can partially block some apps from working properly
  • If you are a target of online criminals, they will likely get what they need anyway
  • Most VPN services have fees associated
  • Can require some technical knowledge