You’ve heard the term “Dark Web” before but what exactly is it? Are you at risk? What can you do if your information is leaked? Read on, I’ll tell you everything you need to know. It’s mysterious and dark. But you can protect yourself.
What Is The Dark Web?
The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets, internet sites you cannot access through a normal browser. You need to go through overlay networks that use the Internet but require specific software, configurations, or authorization to access. There is a lot of privacy and anonymity that comes with using the dark web compared to traditional websites which is what makes it so intriguing to certain individuals.
On the “surface web” when you use browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge, etc and you may be tracked. Hackers and certain individuals seek anonymity so they go into the Dark Web. The tracking there is not stored on one data base. That tracking is shared across thousands of computers across the web. Thereby it’s nearly impossible to track the source.
The dark web was originally created and used by the United States Department of Defense. The idea was to communicate anonymously. The dark web has now become a hub for users wishing to remain anonymous around the world. People can use the dark web for both legal and illegal purposes.
Is My Information On The Dark Web?
There are a few ways you can tell if your data is on the dark web. You can get a dark web scan with some credit bureaus like Experian. Additionally, if your data winds up on the dark web, you can find out by checking the “Have I Been Pwned” (HIBP) website. It’s a free service, and all you have to do is conduct a search using your email address or phone number.
What Can I Do About My Information Being On The Dark Web?
If a dark web scan reveals your information is available online: Here’s what to Do:
- Change Your Passwords immediately.
- Add Two-Step Authentication to Your Accounts where applicable.
- Try to Add SIM-Swapping Protection to Your Phone so a hacker cannot take control of your phone number and use the secure code to break into your account.
- Report the Theft of Your Personal and Account Information to your bank or any other important accounts.
- Freeze Your Credit on all three bureaus.
- Stay Proactive, if you are made aware of a breach, take action before anything happens. Have monthly reports of SSN alerts, many institutions offer this service at little to no cost.
This is not to scare you. It’s not to steer you away from internet. I provide you the necessary information to keep you and your personal data safe and secure. Every day the government and institutions work to keep your data safe. Hackers however work twice as hard to continue to steal and leak your information. Being proactive and taking the time to make sure your information is safe is a small use of your time that will go a long way in the long run.
If you need any help navigating protective measures, or, if you feel your data has been leaked and are not sure what to do about it, contact me for further assistance.