Dark web monitoring is a crucial part of staying safe online in today’s world. Although it can be challenging since the dark web is a vast and ever-changing space, it’s vital to keep track of what’s happening to know whether your personal data has been compromised. Let’s learn more about what it means if your information is leaked there and how you can monitor the dark web to avoid cyber threats.
What is the dark web?
The dark web is a collection of non-indexable websites that aren’t accessible through traditional search engines such as Google or Bing. To access these sites, you have to use special software called Tor that changes your computer’s IP address and lets you browse anonymously. If you are using the dark web to login into accounts with personally identifiable, this can however be traceable. The dark web isn’t necessarily illegal – it’s just hidden from view by default. Some people use it for good reasons (like protecting their privacy), but others use it for criminal activities like buying drugs and weapons, human trafficking, or buying and selling breached data. In fact, some companies even specialise in selling lists of email addresses of people who have purchased items on the dark web so they can target them with advertisements.
What are good uses of the dark web?
It’s not just criminals that use the dark web. If you’re an individual who wants to protect your privacy (or someone who works in a field where this kind of thing is common), monitoring activity on the dark web can be extremely helpful. You can monitor the dark web to:
- Keep tabs on what other people are saying or what personal information is shared about you online – this helps prevent identity theft and other kinds of fraud against your name
- Evade government censorship – in places where the government controls what their citizens can access online, the dark web allows individuals to browse censored content anonymously
- Use anonymous email services – those seeking high privacy, can use email services on the dark web to send and receive secretive information
- Secretly collaborate with journalists and media outlets – this is a common use for whistleblowers
- Contact government agencies
- Avoid ads – there are search engines that protect your identity and allow you to browse ad-free
- Use cryptocurrencies – to make transactions untraceable to the individual
- Use social media – while remaining anonymous
- Join forums and chats about controversial topics
What is dark web monitoring?
At the most basic level, dark web monitoring is collecting data from the dark web. It allows you to access hidden websites, peer-to-peer networks, chat rooms, internet relay chats (IRC), and more. It’s also a way for companies to stay up-to-date with their competitors’ activities and make sure that their own networks aren’t vulnerable to attack. With specialised dark web monitoring tools, you can get alerted when your data has been exposed. Cyber threat intelligence is instrumental in fighting against the nefarious use of the dark web. By scouring the dark web for information about your identity, you can act on your findings before cyber criminals can commit fraud with it.
What should you do if your information has been leaked on the dark web?
If your personal information has been compromised by being leaked on the dark web, whether this is your phone number, email, credit card details, passwords, medical health information, or anything else, you should change it immediately if possible. This personal data when exposed could result in identity theft, financial loss, or other types of fraud.
Choose FraudWatch for dark web monitoring services
Preventing cyber attacks involves being proactive. Take the first step in safeguarding your personal information by getting intelligence on past, current, and future cyber threats. At FraudWatch, our dark web experts specialise in identifying brand keywords/domains, executive monitoring/PII, and BINs/credit card monitoring. We also offer a range of digital protection services for businesses related to phishing attacks, social media and mobile app impersonation, brand abuse, email security, and threat intelligence. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.