The dark web was initially designed with the purpose for journalists and government workers to exchange confidential information for various projects. Unfortunately, the purpose of the dark web has become nefarious in recent years, as it now appeals to cybercriminals, weapons or drug dealers, and child predators. It is important that you keep your personal information safe, and away from the dark web.
How Does Information Get on the Dark Web?
Hackers attempt to gain your information using any method they can think of. This usually takes the form of installing malware on your device, using phishing schemes to get you to click links, or finding your confidential information by going through your physical trash. Once they find a way into your accounts, hackers can take control of your files and steal your identity.
Once they have the data they need, they will often sell it to third parties on the dark web. This is a hot market for credit card numbers, SSNs, medical coverage information, and other documents.
Check For Your Info on the Dark Web
The first thing that you can do is check to see if your personal information is already on the dark web. The best way to do this is by hiring a third-party cybersecurity company to scan the dark web for you. With this scan, you will be able to see what information leaked onto the dark web, and how bad the damage was.
Some third-party companies also provide additional monitoring services. With this service, they will run a periodic scan to check for your data on the dark web and alert you if they find anything.
These cybersecurity companies cannot remove your information from the dark web, so you will need to take steps such as freezing your credit, informing your bank, and changing all your passwords.
Do Not Email Confidential Documents
Emails are very easy to hack into, and so you should not use them to send confidential information. This includes your social security number, driver’s license number, bank account number, or credit card number. If an authorized individual requires these numbers for anything, do not give them out over email. Instead, arrange a call and ask that they do not make physical copies of the data.
Use a Password Manager
Everyone knows that they need to use strong passwords for their accounts. This includes a variety of numbers, letters, and symbols that do not contain any personal references. Some people do not realize that they should have a different password for every online account that they use.
To keep things organized, a password manager is an excellent tool. It provides a higher level of security than you otherwise would have, and it is a convenient way to store your passwords.
Only Make Purchases from Secure Sites
Secure websites will have an SSL (secure socket layer). This means that the internet connection between the server and the client remains protected against infiltration. Data gets transmitted between the two sources will remain safeguarded, and hackers are not able to intercept it. This means if you are making a purchase and inputting your credit card number, there is a much lower chance of having it stolen.
Websites that have an SSL are showcasing that they care about the safety of their client’s data, and they are willing to invest in protecting it. The way to tell if a website has SSL is by looking at the URL. If it is secure, the website URL will start with “HTTPS.” If it is not secure, the URL will begin with “HTTP.”
Scan All Downloads
When your computer gets attacked by malware, it can result in your passwords and information getting stolen. To avoid having this happen, you should use your anti-virus software to scan all documents before downloading them.
When people receive attachments from trusted co-workers, they will often download them immediately without scanning them first. This is a mistake, as a hacker may have sent malware to everyone in the company directory.
Keep Identification Close By
Your wallet probably contains a ton of information about you, as it likely holds your credit cards, debit cards, driver’s license, and potentially your social security card. You need to protect this at all times and do not let it out of your sight when you are in public. Do not leave your purse or wallet in the car, even if you are coming right back, as someone could easily steal it and then they would have all your information.