Worried About Online Privacy and Security? Get Behind the Shield!

5 Minutes for Mom contributor Geri Chase shares her thoughts about the MagneBricks Building Blocks Kickstart project.  She was compensated for writing this post and sharing her honest opinion.

My family took our internet use to a whole new level a few years ago when we took the smartphone plunge and I can’t imagine NOT having access to a hand-held device with Wi-Fi these days!  I love being able to look up ingredients for a recipe when I’m at the grocery store or find out what time a movie starts while we are out on the town.

And my kids don’t even remember what car rides used to be like before they had access to online games and videos during our trips.  I definitely believe that having internet access from virtually anywhere has improved our lives in some ways.  But I also worry that our use of wi-fi and hotspots in public places may be exposing my children and our private information to cyber criminals who can easily access our information.

The good news is, there is a way to secure and protect your info while you use public wi-fi.  It’s called Hotspot Shield.  It protects your data and provides you with a completely secure environment for all your online activities, anywhere, anytime.

Did you know that:

  • 3x more people suffered from cyber-crime than offline crimes in the last 12 months?
  • 75% of those who have used Wi-Fi have experienced cyber crime?
  • 49% of public Wi-Fi networks are unsecured and unencrypted?
  • There’s at least one identity theft a day?

It’s kind of scary to look at those statistics!  And it’s even more scary when you realize that it’s not just criminals who are peeking at our information. Public hotspots allow other websites, social networks, Internet service providers (ISPs), and online snoopers to see and track our locations, IP addresses, instant messages, emails, downloads and personal history.

When you start looking at how much you unwittingly make available to people you don’t know, it just makes sense to start looking at ways to protect your information.

Hotspot Shield gets great ratings on sites like CNET and PC World for its proprietary VPN technology, which instantly creates a barrier between you and the cyber stalkers. This means information like downloads, passwords, account numbers and messages remain completely private, even from your service provider.  Your online activity will only be seen by your ISP as encrypted traffic.

Here are some of the services that Hotspot Shield provides:

  • Secure Connection
  • Anonymous Online Access
  • Identity Theft Protection
  • Malware Protection
  • Virtual Locations available in US, UK & Australia
  • Supports five devices with a single license

When you think about the potentially high cost of losing your identity or having your bank account hacked, you start worrying less about price and thinking more about the peace of mind that comes from having protection in place. In this case, peace of mind won’t cost you a fortune.

In fact, depending on which version you choose to run on your devices, it may not cost you anything at all!  Hotspot Shield offers a free version and an Elite package that runs $30/year for coverage on 5 different devices.  That’s a pretty small price to pay to protect your family’s personal information and online browsing habits.

It works on PC, Mac, Android, iPhone and iPad devices and is compatible with the most recent desktop (Windows 8 and Mountain Lion) and mobile operating systems.

As a parent who loves technology but worries a lot about who might be trying to track my children or hack into my family’s personal and financial information, I am relieved to know that there is a reasonably priced software out there that I can use to keep my family safe online. I’m downloading the Hotspot Shield’s free version as we speak to try it out!

What do you do to protect your internet connections at home or while using public hotspots?
Geri Chase is mom to 2 hilarious boys and wife to an insanely funny husband, all of whom like to remind her that the fact that she is a girl does not give her immunity from their testosterone induced humor. While she pretends not to be amused, she secretly laughs herself silly over their antics and frequently blogs about life and family friendly products over at I Am Boymom.

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