First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
Michael Gargiulo: Our family is doing well throughout the United States and Italy. For other families and friends, not so well. I do feel many of us have had the opportunity to spend more time with family though, which is good in many ways as well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined VPN.com
Michael Gargiulo: In 2007 I started building proxy servers for fellow high school students to use so we could play games and watch videos at school. 5 million visitors later I recognized what we built was needed all across the globe for many different reasons relating to privacy and security. Fast forward another decade, we acquired the domain VPN.com for $1 million to help 1 billion people find the best VPN and cybersecurity software for their needs. A small secret, acquiring that domain was the single most important decision in our company’s history! Learn more at vpn.com/about
How does VPN.com innovate?
Michael Gargiulo: We innovate by improving the content experience of VPN.com. It is very important our visitors have a high-quality experience they can always trust and the ways we innovate are aligned with improving the many design aspects of VPN.com.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Michael Gargiulo: VPN usage is up nearly 200% since January 2020. This number is even higher for business VPN users. The need for secure remote VPN access has surged in every corner of the earth and we are thankful for the opportunity to connect our research and tools to those who need it most during times like this.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Michael Gargiulo: Fortunately, our company was set up to operate remotely prior to COVID-19. The only difficult decisions we have to overcome during this time were helping friends and family who were impacted in more difficult ways, especially those involving critical health and financial decisions.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and VPN.com in the future?
Michael Gargiulo: My faith in God is a great guiding light in my life. Of course, He does not remove all-natural fear and anxiety in my life but he gives me a great reason not to worry and an easy path to calmness, no matter how difficult the moment may be. Coronavirus has tested and altered the lives of virtually everyone on the planet. With the Internet, the speed at which information moves is the fastest civilization has ever seen.
This can present issues with mental well being across society when the news is globally bleak but believing can overcome anything.With faith, the position of the moment matters far less than the mission of our individual lives. Humanity and your faith will prevail.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Michael Gargiulo: A simple search for “VPN” in Google will show a long list of our competitors. Over 17 million people search “VPN” every month on Google, alone. While the VPN industry is surging globally, our competitors include other affiliates and to some degree providers themselves. Our vision is to deliver a platform our visitors can trust and make reliable privacy and security decisions. From software recommendations and comparisons to knowledge on how to protect your family and business online, we will continue to expand our reach as the #1 brand in cybersecurity.
Your final thoughts
Michael Gargiulo: The Internet has allowed the world to move forward in some incredible ways over the last 6 months. While many effects of Coronavirus will be lasting and painful, the adjustments society has been forced to make will lead us much further into the future of technology. It is important we continue to protect our property, our privacy, and the rights granted to each of us as humans and Citizens.
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