How Can You Protect Your Data from the Dark Web

The dark web is a mystery to most Internet users – with good reason. If you’ve never discovered a forum or site on the dark web, it’s because the dark web is hidden from the average Internet user.

If you think of the Internet as a pie chart, the part of the Internet that is accessible to most Internet users is less than 5% of all websites out there. The dark web – also referred to as the deep web – is a much larger part of this pie chart, but most users don’t ever discover any part of it because it’s hidden behind layer upon layer of “cloaking”, or protections that keep it hidden from view while being closely controlled.

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Why Is the Dark Web So Secretive?

Sites on the dark web have unique purposes, but the main goal of these protective efforts are aimed at keeping these sites from being indexed by search engines and being visible to the general public. This greater sense of control results in very selective users on dark web sites, sometimes users with dishonest ends. For cybercriminals, the dark web is one large marketplace – a black market – of personal information available for purchase, including:

  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII): Names, addresses, Social Security Numbers
  • Financial Account Information: Credit card numbers, bank account information, PIN codes
  • Sensitive account information: Email addresses and passwords

Any personal information that can be sold for profit is a perfect fit for this kind of marketplace. Plus, the dark web isn’t limited to personal information of individuals – plenty of businesses have sensitive data like financial records, employment information, and more on the dark web, too, and don’t even realize it.

The dark web needs these added layers of protection to prevent being discovered and shut down. Since the dark web is an online network of websites where search engines don’t look, it’s that much harder to find out if your business – or your data – is exposed.

How Can You Find Out If Your Data Is on the Dark Web?

The reality is that it likely is. In general, most data ends up on the dark web because aside from sensitive information, the dark web is a great place for purchasing software that helps cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to computers and networks.

You won’t learn if your information is exposed through an Internet search since you now know dark web information takes more skilled navigation to find. So, what can you do?

Talk to an IT services provider about a Dark Web Scan. A Dark Web Scan scours the vast and innumerable illegal marketplaces on the dark web, along with the forums and websites, to determine where your data is being “shopped”.

How Can You Protect Your Data from the Dark Web?

You can take added steps to protect your business and your data to prevent this information from finding its way to the dark web for sale:

  • Cybersecurity Training – Train your staff on current best practices for secure passwords and protocols for data storage and management.
  • Vulnerability Testing – Test your network often for security vulnerabilities and fix them before they become bigger, more expensive problems.
  • Network Security – Monitor network activity 24/7 to immediately detect and resolve anything that pops up.
  • Technology Upgrades – Take an audit of your IT environment to determine if hardware or software upgrades are needed to improve and enhance your security.

Prevent cybercriminals from unauthorized access and safeguard your data now.