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Opinion Editorials

State Recession Data [Map]



Image credit: USA Today via Transparent Real Estate

I’ll share my thoughts and invite you to share yours in the comments:

  1. How telling that California has its own special little breakdown.
  2. Interesting to note that not one single state is “In Recovery”- why is that?
  3. Much of the weight of blogging is in “recession” states and people may think it is because they’re attempting to salvage their careers through an online presence but I would argue that the heavy hitters have been around since their state was green.
  4. If you look at the housing stats chart of value changes over the year, note that some expansion states had decreases in housing values while recession states had increases.  Very interesting.
  5. Montana is all out on its own.  I don’t know why.
  6. Maps like this are great but can really get a buyer or seller’s hopes up.  Real estate is still micro even if a sexy color map is fun.  My house has shot up in value while my family in the next subdivision over is sitting at the same as last year.  Micro, people, micro!
  7. No offense, Oklahoma but you’re not in an expansion.  A new Super Target doesn’t balance out the GM plant being gone.  See the danger of a studly map?  We’re all specialists now.
  8. I would have preferred a more modern color spread- that red is so 2003.
  9. If you subscribe exclusively to the bubble blogger mentality, Washington shouldn’t be green.
  10. There’s no mention of it, but I would predict that the top areas in the nation are currently building luxury golf courses.  My bias is that I can see one from my window, but my guess is other areas could be analyzed by golf.

What are your thoughts?  List them in the comments.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Craig Tone

    March 9, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Golf has a huge influence. Studying the golfing trends alone can determine with a high degree of certainty the state of an local economy.

  2. Vicki Moore

    March 9, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    This is an amazing visual. If you take in the media reports, the nation is falling apart financially. I never would have imagined so many states are in expansion. Leave it to California to be a maverick; it’s the best visual proof of micromarkets.

  3. Jeff Brown

    March 9, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Though the map appears to vindicate what I’ve been saying for awhile now, your comments are also on point. The whole golf thing? Not as superficial as some might suppose. Example — Jack Nicolaus is currently designing a course in one of the Carolinas, (I’m pretty sure it’s North). It’ll be an elite club. In speaking to someone close to the development I learned Jack doesn’t even walk the dirt for less than $2 Million.

    Developers may be one of the last of the riverboat gamblers, but they don’t pay out that kinda cash unless they’ve done their homework and concluded it’s gonna be in high demand. The results? The first phase of unimproved dirt sold out in weeks for $3-500,000 apiece. Food for thought.

  4. Benjamin Bach

    March 9, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Jeff, you hit the nail on the head.
    There is a condo development at the North end of Waterloo. Between me, my clients & my mortgage broker, we own about 10 units in there.

    One of the reasons I like the location so much is that it’s near a brand new $10 million big box retail development, that will be anchored by a Walmart.

    Commercial Developers tend to have a larger research budget than I do, so I like following their lead. It’s been good to me so far 🙂

  5. Matthew Rathbun

    March 9, 2008 at 6:07 pm


    This is a great insight and apprecicate this information. I especially like the nugget about Realtor Blogging in relation to current market status.

  6. Missy Caulk

    March 9, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Well they have been calling us a one state recession on the news, guess I’ll call and let them know we’re not alone. Until the “big 3” restructured, we were appreciating at about 8% in Ann Arbor area.
    So that goes with your point # 4.

  7. Mariana

    March 9, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    This is a great breakdown and I posted about it as well. It is WAY cool!
    (Actually, when you go to the site, each state has its own breakdown. P.K. just took a screensot of it while CA was highlighted)

  8. Mariana

    March 9, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    The article DID say that the “red” states have been the ones with the biggest BOOMS, thus they now get to experience the biggest BUSTS (and yes I am speaking strictly in the economic sense.) Larger pendulum swing in those areas.

  9. Cyndee Haydon

    March 9, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Lani – Even though we’re in the red here – it’s great to see a more accurate view of the market. We are seeing lots more activity and even the local paper today (the ultimate in doom and gloom) reminded buyers that “bear and bulls make money but pigs get slaughtered” and that buyers should act now – I nearly pinched myself.

  10. Pat Kitano

    March 10, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Great top ten observations Lani! and yes, Mariana is correct… California is Red, not pink as Bill O’Reilly would assume…

  11. real estate Toronto

    March 10, 2008 at 5:34 am

    Very good report. Now it doesn’t seem so dramatic as I believed it was.Of course, there is lot of “at risk” states, however I believe the worst part is behind you. I am dealing with Toronto houses for sale and despite having good times, it seems real estate recession is slowly appearing. But US problems are firmly connected with mortgage problems and banks and I believe this part of busiess is doing well (so far) in Canada. However, I wish somebody made also Canadian version of your map!

  12. Toby & Saide

    March 10, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Ohio is at risk?

    That surprises me, I would have placed us square in the recession. And from talking to people while digging out 20-inches of snow, I think my neighbors would be surprised as well.


  13. Jay Thompson

    March 10, 2008 at 10:22 am

    “Much of the weight of blogging is in “recession” states and people may think it is because they’re attempting to salvage their careers through an online presence but I would argue that the heavy hitters have been around since their state was green”

    You argument works for me, as well as several other Arizona bloggers I know. Ditto for some in other “red states”.

  14. Messenger

    March 10, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST 1% HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy…. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars. Transfered FROM US TO THEM. Over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They will never settle for a reasonable share of ANYTHING. They will do whatever it takes to get even richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any ‘humanitarian’ progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. So don’t fall for all of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah, Ellen, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China.. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit.. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea… Prozac, Zanex, Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, love-sick, couch potatoe, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. In many cases, the ‘charitable’ contribution is almost entirely offset.. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and ‘good will’ all at once. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to ‘tax revenue’. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH. ITS THEIR OWN DAMN FAULT. If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax reveue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havok on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a dominoe effect to consider. So when people forgive the rich for all of the above and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. If these filthy pigs want to be over-paid, then they should be over-taxed as well. Remember: The richest 1% STILL own 1/2 of all United States wealth EVEN AFTER taxes, charity, and PR CRAP. A similar rule applies worldwide. There is nothing anyone can say to justify that. Anyway, there is usually a higher state and local burden on the middle class. They get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Otherwise, the red inks flows like a waterfall. Service cuts and lay-offs follow. Again, because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. Afterall, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, free and clear assets, lower deficit, ect. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA. Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home forclosure epidemic, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution.. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH HAS MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

  15. Eric Bouler

    March 10, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    You do make some good points. I know our area is kind of lkie a counter culture as well as on the economy. I know we are lowering taxes as a state and on the local level. Hopefully we can attract some people from California. You can still get a home here for 200k, the jobs pay less but its not that much less.

  16. Benn Rosales

    March 10, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    That has to be the longest comment in blogging history… enjoy.

  17. Cyndee Haydon

    March 10, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Wow – Benn I had to see that for myself – thought you guys had launched a blog within a blog! 🙂

  18. Matthew Rathbun

    March 10, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    So, um Benn…. you’re saying that you’re upset that Brett Farve retired? 🙂

    I am a huge fan of rhetoric and expression. This a great rant and honestly, I think you should repost it in and of itself. Well thought out op ed!

    Thanks so much for sharing and maintain this venue.

  19. Brad Coy

    March 11, 2008 at 2:21 am


    >How telling that California has its own special little breakdown.
    I don’t think it did. Just in the way it was copied. If you go to the USA Today page, all states Metros are evaluated:

    Great commentary!

  20. Teresa Boardman

    March 11, 2008 at 4:18 am

    Can see signs in Minnesota that feel like a recession. part of it is the attitude people have about money, they are not spending it.

  21. Real Estate Web Sites

    March 11, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Coming to you from a golf capital Florida here and I see we are in a recession. Florida has always had problems and it seems to be the SW Florida area and parts of Miami that have been hit with luxury home foreclosures while other areas of the state seem to be median homes. Alot has to do local economy, jobs, lending practices.

    This is actually a great opportunity for many to buy first time and retire to Florida. The smart people are investing becasue they know this area is secure and will rebound. We have our tourist industry, fruit industry, fishing, cattle and many medical companies are relocating business for cheaper commercial property and opening many new job markets.

    I see this as a good thing and just an off shut of a 3 year boom in Florida that many got wrapped up in that could not afford the first ARM bump and should not have been sold it to begin with. I am not in favor of bailouts either. There are plenty of people to buy these homes and as soon as consumer confidence is restored I thing you will see a turn around.

  22. Matt Scoggins

    March 12, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Someone get “Messenger” his/her own blog…wow!

  23. Maureen Francis

    March 13, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    My blog is about to celebrate its three year birthday later this month (No gifts, please.) Michigan’s recession started later, I think. Maybe if I had started blogging earlier, we wouldn’t have had a recession. Now I feel guilty!

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Opinion Editorials

AT&T hit with age discrimination lawsuit over using the word “tenured”

(EDITORIAL) 78% of workers are victims of age discrimination. As awareness arises, lawsuits show what may constitute discrimination, including verbiage.



Older man at cafe representing age discrimination

According to the AARP, 78% of older workers have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. As awareness of ageism increases, lawsuits that allege age bias can help employers understand what constitutes discrimination. A recent case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Smith v. AT&T Mobility Services, L.L.C., No. 21-20366 (5th Cir. May 17, 2022), should give employers pause about using other words that could potentially be a euphemism for “older worker.”

What the lawsuit was about

Smith, a customer service representative at AT&T, alleged that he was denied a promotion because of his age. His manager told him that she was not going to hire any tenured employees. The manager wanted innovative employees in the management positions. Smith took this to mean that he was being denied the promotion because of his age. He sued under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Texas law.

The district court found that Smith failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as to one claim and failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination as to the other two claims. Smith appealed. The Appellate court affirmed the district court’s decision, but they did say it was “close.” AT&T did not discriminate against Smith by using the word tenured, because there were other employees of the same age as Smith who were promoted to customer service management positions.

Be aware of the verbiage used to speak to employees

This case is another example of how careful employers need to be about age discrimination, not only in job postings. It’s imperative to train managers about the vagaries of ageism in the workplace to avoid a costly lawsuit. Even though AT&T prevailed, the company still had a pretty hefty legal tab. Don’t try to get around the ADEA by using terminology that could screen out older workers, such as “digital native,” or “recent college grad.” Remind employees and managers about ageism. Document everything. Pay attention to other cases about age discrimination, such as the iTutor case or this case about retirement-driven talk. You may not be able to prevent an employee from feeling discriminated against, but you can certainly protect your business by doing what you can to avoid ageism.

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Opinion Editorials

Writing with pen and paper may mean your smarter than your digital peers

(EDITORIAL) Can writing old fashioned make you smarter? Once considered and art form, handwriting is becoming a thing of the past, but should it be?



Writing on paper job titles.

When I was in college, in 2002, laptops weren’t really commonplace yet. Most students took notes by writing with pen and paper. Today, most students take notes with laptops, tablets, cell phones, or other electronic devices. The days of pen and paper seem to be fading. Some students even wait until the end of class and use their cell phones to take a picture of the whiteboard, so in effect, they are not absorbing any of the information because they “can just take a picture of it and look at it later.”

Is it easier to take notes on an electronic device? I think that largely depends on preference. I type faster than I write, but I still prefer to take notes on paper.

According to researchers at Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles, students who take handwritten notes generally outperform students who typed them.

Writing notes help students learn better, retain information longer, and more readily grasp new ideas, according to experiments by other researchers who also compared note-taking techniques.

While most students can type faster than they write, this advantage is short-term. As the WSJ points out, “after just 24 hours, the computer note takers typically forgot material they’ve transcribed, several studies said. Nor were their copious notes much help in refreshing their memory because they were so superficial.” So while it may take a bit longer to capture the notes by hand, more likely than not, you will retain the information longer if you put pen to paper.

As I teach English Composition at the University of Oklahoma, I would also like to say that while I find this to be true for myself, every student has a different learning style. Typed notes are much better than no notes at all. Some students detest writing by hand and I understand that. Everything in our world has gone digital from phones to cable television so it makes sense, even if I don’t like it, that students gravitate more towards electronic note taking than pen and paper.

While I would like to see more students take notes by hand, I certainly won’t require it. Some students are navigating learning disabilities, anxieties, and other impediments that make taking notes digitally more advantageous.

I imagine the same is true for other areas as well: instead of typing meeting notes, what would happen if you wrote them by hand? Would you retain the information longer? Perhaps, and perhaps not; again, I think this depends on your individual learning style.

I would like to suggest that if you are one of the more “electronically-minded” writers, use a flashcard app, or other studying tool to help you review your classroom notes or meeting notes to make them “stick” a bit better. While I find this type of research intriguing, if you enjoy taking your notes electronically, I wouldn’t change my method based on this.

If it’s working for you, keep doing it. Don’t mind me, I’ll be over here, writing everything down with pen and paper.

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Opinion Editorials

5 reasons using a VPN is more important now than ever

(EDITORIAL) Virtual private networks (VPN), have always been valuable, but now, more than ever, entrepreneurs and businesses really should have them.




Virtual private networks (VPN), have always been valuable, but some recent developments in technology, laws, and politics are making them even more important for entrepreneurs and businesses.

A VPN serves as an intermediary layer of anonymity and security between your computer and your internet connection. Your Wi-Fi signal is a radio wave that can ordinarily be intercepted, so any data you transmit back and forth could be taken and abused by interested parties. VPNs act as a kind of middleman, encrypting the data you transmit and protecting you from those prying eyes. offers a selection of some of the best-reviewed VPN services on the market; there you can see the different approaches to security and anonymity that different brands take, and get a feel for the price points that are available. But why is it that VPNs are becoming even more important for business owners and entrepreneurs?

These are just five of the emerging influencers in the increasing importance of VPNs:

1. The rise of IoT. The Internet of Things (IoT) is already taking off, with a predicted 8.4 billion devices will be connected to the internet by the end of the year. All those extra connections mean extra points of vulnerability; hackers are skilled at finding tiny entry points, so every new channel you open up on your Wi-Fi connection is another opportunity they could potentially exploit. Using a VPN won’t make your network completely hack-proof—user errors, like giving your password away in a phishing scam, are still a potential threat—but VPNs will make your network more secure than it was before.

2. The popularity of ransomware. Ransomware is growing in popularity, seizing control of devices, sometimes for weeks or months before activating, then holding the device “hostage,” and demanding payment in exchange for releasing the files that are stored on it. These attacks are fast and efficient, making them ideal for hackers to use against small businesses. Again, using a VPN won’t make you immune from these types of attacks, but they will make you harder to target—and hackers tend to opt for the path of least resistance.

3. The escalation of attacks on small businesses. Speaking of small businesses, they happen to be some of the most frequent targets of cybercriminals. About 43 percent of all cyberattacks target small businesses, in part because they have fewer technological defenses but still have valuable assets. Protecting yourself from cyberattacks is a must if you want your business to survive.

4. Political attacks on net neutrality. Politicians have recently attempted to attack and eliminate net neutrality, which is the long-standing guarantee that internet providers can’t violate user privacy by collecting and/or reporting on certain types of data, and can’t create “slow lanes” that throttle certain types of traffic. If net neutrality is abolished, you could face slower internet traffic and decreased privacy on the web. A VPN could, in theory, protect you from these effects. First, your web traffic would be anonymized, so internet providers couldn’t gather as much data on you as other customers. Second, you’ll be routed through a private VPN server, which could help you get around some of the speed throttling you might otherwise see. It’s uncertain whether net neutrality will ultimately fall, but if it does, you’ll want a VPN in place to protect you.

5. The affordability and diversity of VPNs available. Finally, it’s worth considering that VPNs are more affordable and more available than ever before. There are specific VPNs for all manner of businesses and individuals, and they’re all reasonably affordable. Inexpensive options can be yours for as little as a few dollars per month, and more robust, secure options are still affordable, even for frugal businesses. If you try a VPN provider you don’t like, you can always cancel and switch to another provider. This availability makes it easier to find exactly what you need.

If you’ve never used a VPN before and you’re confused, try not to be intimidated. VPNs sound complex, but connecting to one is a simple login process you can use on practically any device. The hardest part is choosing a reliable provider that suits your business’s need. With the influx of coming changes, it’s a good idea to get your VPN in place sooner rather than later.

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