With daily news about violations and information for sale on the dark web, it is necessary to protect your data. We live in an age with a greater emphasis on safety in cyberspace than ever before. By going to work from home, the pandemic has shifted the focus of security awareness.
As consumers began to spend more time on Internet, businesses in every industry rushed to complement traditional sales methods and customer interactions with digital equivalents.
Recently research revealed that 40% of people do not know what the dark web is, let alone how their data could be compromised.
So what is it? Dark Web and how to protect yourself
This section of the Internet consists of sections that are not accessible through search engines such as Google. Most internet users are informed by horror stories about data breaches resulting in thousands of stolen credentials being sold for sale, from passwords to bank numbers accounts and medical records. This is a concern when 80% of data breaches are the result of weak codes access while 92% admit password reuse despite being well aware of the consequences. Most people do not understand the true extent of the dark web, with estimates ranging from 0,005% to 96% of the total web.
A recent study by University of Surrey revealed that almost two-thirds (60%) of dark web listings had the potential to harm businesses. Although not all are used for illegal purposes, the presence of such different criminal activity networks means that consumers need to protect their information with the attention they deserve.
Credit card numbers, counterfeit money and stolen credentials subscription is among the items you will find for sale. In addition, you will find rental services, including DDoS attacks, cyber phishing scams, and business and financial data collection. It is clear that a successful breach could have serious financial consequences for both businesses and users, not to mention the accompanying reputational damage to any companies involved.
Are your data exposed?
A survey last year already revealed that 1 in 4 people would be willing to pay to have their personal information removed from the dark web - and that number rises to 50% for those who have suffered hack. While only 13% could confirm whether a company they interacted with was involved in a breach, the reality is much different than you think - since 2013, more than 9,7 billion data files have been lost or stolen and this number only increases.
Most of us would not know if our information is for sale on the dark web. However, there are solutions that proactively check email addresses, usernames and other exposed credentias against third-party databases, alerting users in the event of information leaks.
The password managers increasingly include this dark web monitoring feature, pointing to websites that have been compromised, along with links for users to change any exposed credentials. By keeping users informed when their digital identities are compromised, these tools help improve security information and highlight the dangers of bad password practices.
Get informed and protect yourself
While detection is a key part of the puzzle, tracking down cybercriminals begins with information.
The human component is often the weakest link in the security chain, with people not changing the default security settings or use the same password on different platforms in their professional and personal lives.
Security is an ever-changing process rather than an individual task, and people need to work together to shape their security practices. Remote work is likely to remain the norm for a large percentage of businesses, even when people continue to reopen their doors.
The associated security challenges will not simply disappear, but will likely increase as internet traffic continues. With so many exposed credentials available for sale on the dark web, we all need to renew our focus on cyber security. Using unique passwords that are randomly generated in different accounts and investing in solutions with built-in privacy features is a good place to start.