This may not be the answer your looking for, but... And also I'm not an expert, it just might help...
There is no proper use of the collar( and they have strict and clear limitations), other than the one put up by the producer(typically: change it often, keep away any tempering agent e.g. water, dirt, shampoo). The way a collar works is by emanating an odor which in turn will only prevent an infestation of ticks but not with a tick itself. It's common sense to see that a tick will still find a place on the body of the pet without having to deal with the odor(source?...experience). But who's to say that they don't keep away at least some of the ticks? It will probably remain an open question until our canine friends develop biped walk and wear shoes. Also, parasites like ticks and any other could develop immunity to the pesticide used in the substance on the collar.
I haven't had any side effect with my dog.
My dog has contracted babesiosis 2 times. Both of the times he was near death. In both cases we could find the tick when it was filled with blood (he has a lot of hair and it is hard to search thorough). Most importantly, afterwards we could pinpoint to exact locations where he could have caught the ticks. Later, we found out that these locations are frequently visited by cattle, which, by local knowledge, are always infested. The moral of the story is that it is better to know the places you are visiting or crossing rather than relying only on collars or on dewormers. Also, trimming the fur helps making the tick's job of trying to stick to the victim harder.