We’ve all heard of the Dark Web. The infamous private corners of the internet that are only accessible through special software that mask your IP address. You know, where you can do just about anything, from joining a book club to hiring an assassin. Maybe you want to play a chess match? The Dark Web has that! Looking to purchase stolen credit card information? You’re in the right place!
What makes the Dark Web so… Dark? After all, there is much more to it than illegal activity, much like the activities you could engage in on the surface web.
The Dark Web gets its fame for a few good reasons: anonymity and privacy. While innocent activity does occur on the Dark Web, its notoriety comes from the crime that occurs there.
Criminal Activity on the Dark Web
Cybercriminals access the Dark Web routinely. In fact, many rely on the Dark Web to obtain the info they require to carry out their crimes. On the contrary, cybercriminals also come to the Dark Web to sell or exploit the information they have already compromised. Which brings us to the real problem: Cybercriminals are having a field day on the Dark Web, buying and selling stolen data to carry out a plethora of crimes.
For those of us who know and understand the dangers of the Dark Web, we may feel confident that we’re doing everything the right way to prevent our data from ending up there, but how we know with certainty that we’re safe? There’s only one true way to find out: A Dark Web scan.
What Is a Dark Web Scan?
Scanning the Dark Web for breaches and compromised credentials is simple if you have the tools you need to do so. This type of scan can help identify if your email address has been involved in any data breaches and what information was compromised in that breach.
The value of performing a Dark Web scan is undeniable. Uncovering that you’ve been involved in a breach allows you to take steps to ensure that your compromised data isn’t used against you or on your unauthorized behalf. Although it is impossible to recover your stolen data once it hits the Dark Web, there are action items that you can and should perform following the discovery.
Your Data Is on the Dark Web – Now What?
Address your passwords immediately following a data breach. Once a breach is identified, changing your password on that account and any other account you may have reused that password on is critical.
Moving forward, passwords should never be reused across accounts. All passwords should be complex, difficult to guess and reasonably long. You may want to consider creating a passphrase, which many consider best practice. Remembering several difficult to guess passwords is no easy feat. A password manager is highly recommended for added security and convenience. This will allow you to store all your passwords in one place, requiring you to remember only one strong, difficult password.
Two-factor authentication is also a great added security feature to confirm your identity. 2FA will require a second form of identification aside from your password to gain access to your accounts.
A One-Time Dark Web Scan Will Not Protect You
Scanning the Dark Web is great and can help you identify current risks and data breaches you have been involved in to date, but what happens next? Maybe you were involved in two data breaches when you performed a Dark Web scan. You found what data was compromised and you changed your passwords as a follow-up. Does that mean you won’t be involved in another data breach next week? Or perhaps you were already involved in another data breach that has not yet been brought to light. If you don’t continuously search the Dark Web, you are putting yourself at risk of the unknown. The next time your data is compromised, it may go unnoticed on the Dark Web for days, months, or even years if you aren’t monitoring for it, leaving it up for grabs for cybercriminals.
Dark Web Monitoring – The Protection You Need
There are services that will proactively monitor the Dark Web for you and notify you immediately when your data is found on the Dark Web. We’re serious – it’s that simple. There is minimal effort needed on your behalf once you’ve found the right vendor to provide you with Dark Web Monitoring. This will automatically monitor for your organization’s email domain on the Dark Web. If it’s discovered floating around out there, you can rest assured that you will be notified, allowing you to take the next steps to protect your personal and company data. Not only does this give you peace of mind, but also takes the burden off you to routinely check for compromised data on the Dark Web.
Cybercriminals are relentless and show no signs of slowing down. They will continue to wreak havoc on every industry where they can profit. Much like cybercriminals, the Dark Web is not going away either. Remember, after all, it’s a place where you can innocently join a literature club, or you know, steal someone’s entire identity.