In the vast ecosystem of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), nothing sounds more badass than a “kill switch.” This handy feature appears on most industry-leading VPNs and exists for an extremely important reason.
Today, we’ll take a look at the interesting world of VPN kill switches. What are they? Why should you use one? And who needs one the most?
What Is a VPN Kill Switch?
Simply put, a kill switch is a premium feature on high-grade VPNs that ensures no breaks in the VPN connection. In the event of connectivity issues, you can relax knowing your data won’t leak. Usually, you’ll have to download the app to access the kill switch feature.
The First Line of Defense Against Data Breaches
Sometimes, VPN servers experience technical difficulties, causing a loss of VPN connection. In this scenario, the kill switch disconnects your app or device from the internet until connection to the VPN server is reestablished.
Even a second without VPN coverage can lead to a data leak, especially on unencrypted networks. The kill switch guarantees that your internet connection isn’t left unsecured for a single moment.
Man In The Middle (MITM) Cyber Attack
This seems a bit like overkill, doesn’t it? Well, it definitely isn’t, and the reason is due to MITM cyberattacks. On any unencrypted public Wi-Fi, a hacker can perform an MITM attack by:
- Infiltrating the unsecured network;
- Situating themselves between the router and your device;
- Collecting all unencrypted data in transit (including credit cards, passwords, and Personal Identifiable Information (PII)).
VPN-encrypted data is useless to these cyber criminals. A kill switch ensures that your private data isn’t ever left unencrypted and vulnerable to an MITM cyberattack.
Why Should You Leave Your VPN’s Kill Switch On?
So, many of you are probably well aware of the dangers around public Wi-Fi. However, you can benefit from using a kill switch at all times, regardless of location. Here’s why.
Boost Your Cybersecurity
Whether you’re on a public connection or not, unencrypted data is vulnerable in any part of the internet. At the ground level, an activated kill switch is an extra layer of security for all of your daily online activities.
Increase Data Privacy
It doesn’t matter if you’re an intern or a software architect — plenty of modern occupations and lifestyles require a minimum level of data privacy. Kill switches ensure that your data privacy is strong, even if your VPN drops out.
Who Needs a VPN Kill Switch Most?
While we could easily argue that any internet user could benefit from a VPN kill switch, let’s be more precise. If you fall into the following categories, then you need a kill switch more than anyone.
#1. Citizens of Countries with Heavy Censorship
Some political regimes around the world apply incredibly harsh controls on the internet. Individuals from these countries are surveilled and often arrested for accessing censored or “anti-government” content.
If you live in a country with harsh censorship and penalties, find a VPN with a kill switch to make sure that your browsing data is never accidentally leaked to the government.
#2. Lawyers, Journalists and Whistleblowers
Similarly, you may have a job that handles vast amounts of sensitive corporate or government data. For the brave journalists and whistleblowers out there, a VPN kill switch is a literal life jacket that guarantees their anonymity and safety.
#3. Public Wi-Fi Users
As mentioned earlier, any public Wi-Fi can be a hot zone for MITM attacks. But luckily, a VPN with a kill switch is all you need to mitigate this attack. Even if a hacker is on your connection, they’ll never get a chance to catch your data unencrypted.
Are you sure you want to keep using that VPN when it doesn’t have a kill switch?
Whether you’re in the market for a VPN or considering upgrading your existing one, make sure you choose a VPN with a kill switch.
Browse freely, knowing your private data, and anonymity is guaranteed, thanks to your new kill switch.