If you’re looking to get a personal Virtual Private Network (VPN), make sure there’s a feature in it called the “Kill Switch” and turn it on.
Why get a VPN in the first place? The simple reason is that a VPN protects all of your information and browsing habits while connecting to the Internet on a public network (such as WiFi at Starbucks). There are a number of personal VPN products out there – NordVPN, ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN and PrivateVPN – to name a few. Pricing for such services can range anywhere from $4-$15/month depending on the product and length of term you sign up for (monthly or annually).
Once installed a VPN will encrypt your traffic and hide your location (IP address) thereby ramping up your own personal privacy when connecting to the Internet.
So what is a ‘Kill Switch’ feature and why is it needed? From time to time, your VPN connection may fail – technology does that. Should that happen, you don’t want your device to continue to send traffic across the public network in an unsecured and non-encrypted manner. With a Kill Switch turned on, your connection to the Internet will automatically be severed keeping you safe from exposing any personal information or from being tracked. This will present a minor disruption to you, but it is worth the trouble to reestablish the VPN connection if that means keeping your information safe.
So, make sure your personal VPN service has a kill switch feature and don’t switch it off unless you know what you are doing. Should you find an inexpensive VPN solution that does not offer this feature – steer clear.