In the top five known data breaches of 2019, 540.3 billion records were hacked. That’s a staggering amount of personal information now in the hands of people that undoubtedly have illegal motives. Today more than ever, keeping your communications secure is critical every single time you log onto the internet.

One of the best ways to guard your personal information is by connecting through a virtual private network, commonly referred to as a VPN. The technology behind the VPN began more than 20 years ago with experiments to create the first Peer to Peer Tunneling Protocol and has since been adopted for a variety of applications. 

A secure VPN will keep your browsing practices private and protect you on both public and shared networks. With the number of Internet hackers rising, having a VPN is imperative to prevent criminals from accessing your sensitive data. Cybercrime spares no one, so having robust VPN encryption is one way to secure your Internet traffic reliably. In particular, OpenVPN has gained near-universal support from VPN providers because of its versatility and security points. 

In addition to encrypting the data you send and receive, it’s become highly important to use a VPN that includes the kill switch feature.  

What is a VPN kill switch?

A kill switch is a safety mechanism that will obstruct all Internet traffic if your VPN connection stops working. It is a useful feature for increasing your privacy and anonymity, something that is likely important to anyone using a VPN in the first place. Having a kill switch activated fully turns off your Internet if the VPN connection is disrupted. During a VPN outage, your device will not send or receive communications until your service is restored. So, your privacy and true IP address will stay secure even if the virtual private network is not working. 

How to test your kill switch

To ensure your kill switch feature is functioning properly, it’s essential to test functionality after setup, then periodically every few weeks after that. The fastest and easiest way to test your VPN kill switch is to take the following steps:

  1. Connect your VPN service.
  2. Make sure the kill switch feature is enabled. 
  3. Navigate to a site such as Netflix or YouTube, and begin streaming content. 
  4. Disconnect your VPN, but do not close the application window. 
  5. If your streaming content completely stops, then your VPN kill switch is working properly. 

Which VPNs have a kill switch?

Despite the fact that demand for a VPN kill switch is growing, it is not yet a standard feature from VPN providers. Namecheap VPN offers kill switch functionality within its Windows 10 VPN download, so if your VPN connection dies, a kill switch will immediately block any Internet traffic to your PC, ensuring your privacy and anonymity. There may be occasions where you do not need to use the VPN kill switch, for example, when you are at home on a hard-wired internet connection. Fortunately, the VPN client allows you to turn off the kill switch as needed. 

Final Thoughts

Internet hackers do not discriminate when it comes to when and where they attack. Therefore, combining a secure VPN with the kill switch feature is an important move for protecting your privacy. By encrypting your data and hiding your IP address, following these steps will dramatically limit your security risks when going online. 

Also Read: What You Need to Know About Business VPN?