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The Dark Web Wants Your Identity

darkweb

Dark Web monitoring is becoming paramount, but what is the dark web? Some folks are not aware of its existence. Let’s break it down.

The internet is responsible for connecting the entire world together as a whole and is hugely popular all over the globe. However not everyone is aware of all that it is capable of nor the fact that it’s comprised of layers.  There are three parts to the internet to be exact.  The first section we’re all used to.  It’s the area where we shop, surf various sites, share photos and videos via social media. That layer makes up merely 4% of user participation.  

The next area of the internet is known as the deep web and consists of approximately 90% of the usage. This section allows for the private sector where you can check on medical records, banking information, school data, any type of knowledge that is generally kept confidential, but is fully legal.

Then we move on to the third and final part of the internet – the dark web.

What exactly is The Dark Web

The dark web sometimes called ‘the darknet’ is accessed by ‘Tor’ or ‘The Onion Router’ and began for the U.S. Navy as a source to keep information anonymous and difficult to obtain.  It quickly became a network synonymous with criminals and illicit activity in the underground world. That reputation follows it today.

The dark web is a series of hidden networks that require special resources to access it. Visitors come prepared to use anonymity software that will mask their real identity. Computers take randomized routes to the file destinations bouncing from place to place in a number of encrypted connections in order to ultimately mask the identity as well as the location of the user. This way folks who use the dark web for illegal purposes can’t be traced.

Because of the hidden nature and the specialized applications to keep anonymity, the dark web is a haven for illicit activity including trafficking of stolen identities meaning if you have ever been the victim of a breach of data theft, this may be a place where your sensitive records have come to rest and be sold. Some sort of dark web monitoring may be in order

Dark Web Monitoring

Credit monitoring bureaus have added dark web monitoring to the list of services that they offer their clients as part of their theft protection regimen.  Unfortunately, they are misleading their clients into believing they can somehow retrieve their stolen information once it has reached the dark web or prevent it from being sold after it has gone onto the dark web.

Dark web monitoring can do neither of these things. The best that dark web monitoring can offer for you is to let you know that your information has, in fact, reached the dark web and help you to know what you should do to try to prevent future damage from happening to your identity.

Once your information has been compromised, there’s no getting it back. There’s just damage control from that point. Dark web monitoring basically assesses where your information has gone and how bad the damage is.

Using a dark web scan tool to see if your information has reached the dark web is a method you can use to aid in prevention.  You can run a dark web scan tool that will enable access to see if your passwords have been breached so that they can be quickly changed before anyone can gain access to your accounts.

There is a dark web scan tool that can assess dark web risks to any of your personal information including addresses, credit card information, and phone numbers. This type of self-serve dark web monitoring service allows you to stay on top of your own security and keep control of your information as an individual.

Dark Web Protection

If you have a dark web threat intelligence, new passwords are important and you should change them every 90 days.  A big step towards dark web protection is to be sure the passwords consist of an unusual combination of letters, numbers and symbols that no one can detect.  Passwords are the key to all of your accounts. Without those, there is nothing the criminals can do to gain access to your personal information. Everything that is important to you should be password protected.

If you believe that you have been compromised, do a computer scan to search for any viruses or malware prior to doing your password changes. There are certain viruses that are able to log keystrokes allowing password detection, so changing the passwords prior to this step will be a waste of time.  After the scan, if all is well, then change your passwords.

Develop a system for your email addresses.  Have one email for your vital accounts, e.g. banking, mortgage, etc. Then have one for secondary important items such as medium accounts and a third for garbage sign-ons that need an email address in order to join.  This way your main email is protected and never susceptible to a breach or available to be sold on the dark web.

Always make sure two-step authentication is required with your accounts meaning there is not only your email and password required but a code will need to be entered to verify that the actual owner of the account is attempting to log in.  This will greatly reduce the chances of fraud happening to you.

Only make purchases from sites that are secure having HTTPS at the beginning of their URL and a padlock.  This will keep your information protected when buying anything while online by ensuring the site is a reputable, safe site. It will decrease the likelihood that your email will end up on the dark web.

What About The Dark Web Security Companies Or Cyber Security Organizations

There are dark web security companies or cyber security organizations.  They perform dark web surveillance and use dark web monitoring tools to crack the dark web hacking activities and update their security systems to try to stay one step ahead of the dark web and their criminal ventures.  Also, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a government agency that works tirelessly to develop software that will aid law enforcement in maneuvering their way through the dark web as data protection is becoming more and more of a priority.

Conclusion

The Dark Web can be a scary place. Its home to thousands of Web pages used to facilitate virtually any illegal activity you could imagine. But, it’s not that simple – the World Wide Web is massive, and the Dark Web is just one part of it.

With all of the dark web monitoring that is being done by the cyber security agencies as well as our government, and the protection that we afford ourselves, the dark web tools are still such that hackers and criminals are able to do their ‘work’ quite impressively without the bad guys being caught. As fast as our security agencies work to keep up with the dark web, they are coming up with new ideas to outsmart the systems.

This is not to say anyone is giving up on their fight to draw these serpents out of their dark caverns. The security grows each day to a new level where eventually the criminals will no longer be able to find a way to penetrate our systems. In the same breath, the authorities continue to push until they find their way into the depths of these illicit sanctuaries at which point the remains of the dark web will just be a reminder of what can happen when we aren’t careful with our personal, private, self-identifying information. Hopefully, the mere existence of the dark web to begin with taught us that lesson.

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