Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
The MSF safety course teaches to ALWAYS use the kill switch. Most bikes this can be done with the front brake still on, and more importantly as you say, they teach that the habit of knowing how to find it is very important in an emergency.
I don't know if it still shorts the coils, but we were told in the old days the only damage there was burning out the points quicker, and points were easy enough to replace back then. No points in our electronic ignition, but a much more expensive module takes the place of those. Manufacturer should have done anything they needed to protect that in a kill switch situation.
Anyway, the icon on my "kill" switch looks more like ignition on or off positions, and I've been using it several times almost every day. I'm not worried.