How Thieves Use The Dark Web to Steal Your Data

Dennis Faas's picture

We live in the age of technology where every day is full of advancements that make our lives easier. At what cost, though?

Our Internet security is constantly under fire by hackers and cyber criminals using these technological advances to their gain. Through the dark web, a virtual underworld full of criminal activity that can be accessed using specific tools, such activity is made possible.

However, many people aren't sure what the dark web actually is. According to Business Insider, it's "defined as all content hosted on darknets, or online networks that require a specific browsing software to access." Basically, it's a wide range of hidden content and activities you can't access through the everyday Internet.

Your Information on the Dark Web and Why It Matters

Hackers and cyber criminals will use the dark web to buy, sell, or trade usernames, passwords, and even financial information. If you work in a sector where your customer's personal financial data is stored (i.e., banking), what hackers can do with that information can be catastrophic for all parties involved. For example, credit card numbers and expiration dates stored in databases might be used by criminals to make unauthorized purchases that can lead to the owners' financial ruin.

These databases can also be bought and sold on the dark web. With this knowledge, hackers can find out what stores or restaurants you shop at as well as what hotel chains you prefer - giving them access to your personal information without you knowing it. The dark web is what makes it possible for criminals to make your life a living hell with ease; all they have to do is wait until you hand them the keys when they ask for it.

Countering Dark Web Data Stealers

It's easy to say what a person can do to keep their personal data private and what a business can do to protect its sensitive information, but what about the next step? What happens after your information is stolen?

Businesses have a responsibility to protect what was entrusted to them. That means giving everything the best protection they can afford, especially when dealing with highly sensitive financial data or other personally identifiable information (PII).

Secondly, no matter the industry or business you are in, it's important to keep an eye out for any potential breaches. Unfortunately, it's common for business owners to ignore a data breach threat until their customer base is full of angry people who trust the business to keep their data secure. This mistake makes your business an easier target for criminals looking for opportunities that are too good to miss.

How to Be Alerted When Your Data is Found on the Dark Web

A reputable cyber security firm will be able to uncover what's happening behind the scenes that you usually can't see. An expert would then be able to give you an accurate analysis of what steps you need to take to keep your data safe, whether it's closing your compromised accounts or changing all of your identity information.

They would also know what kind of team needs to be assembled to track down where hackers are getting their information and stop them at their point of origin, so they no longer have access to what they need.

What is dark web monitoring?

Dark web monitoring is a process that involves continuously gathering and scanning the web to look for any PII data that has been compromised. This is a proactive approach, unlike a breach investigation in which you wait for someone else to notify you of a potential issue. It's what keeps ease of access out of the hands of those who seek to steal one's identity.

Final Thoughts

The Dark Web has been around for a long time, and it seems that thieves are now taking advantage of the virtually untraceable nature of this shadowy network to steal your data. Therefore, you must be aware of what happens on the dark web to protect yourself from these cyber criminals who use anonymity as their primary weapon.

Thankfully, there are some very easy ways to monitor whether or not your information is being sold in a shady corner of the Internet. For instance, you can work with a cyber security firm that will provide the necessary information your business needs to make sure your customers' personal data is safe.

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