The Dark Web is a breeding ground for fraudulent activities, including identity theft, weapon sales, human trafficking and credit card scams. It provides a haven for cybercriminals to operate anonymously, making it difficult for law enforcement to track them down. While not all activity on the Dark Web is illegal, it’s important for users to be aware of the risks and potential consequences with accessing this hidden part of the internet.
One of the main dangers of the Dark Web is that it can hack your personal information and data. This type of ‘currency’ is especially appealing for hackers, who can buy your information and use it for illegal activities.
Why does the Dark Web exist?
Despite being referenced in many mainstream conversations, nobody can really pinpoint the origins of the Dark Web. However, it has become synonymous with the seedy source of many illegal activities.
To access the Dark Web, specialised software is needed. What one can find there ranges from anything, such as:
- Personal data, like full names, home addresses, social security numbers, and any other information that can identify you as an individual.
- Financial data, like your online banking username and password.
- Medical data, such as your entire medical history, test results, billing information, and other sensitive data.
- Confidential corporate data, which may include intellectual property, patents, and other details.
- Forged data, like fake passports, stolen driver’s licences and IDs
You can see how the Dark Net can be a treasure trove to the wrong kinds of people who want to benefit from cybercrime. Hackers want to make a lot of money, fast, and at a scale. The Dark Web provides this exact type of opportunity.
How to protect yourself from darknet markets
It is not recommended for most people to access the Dark Web due to the many risks it can carry. However, if you do need to access it, here are some tips to help protect yourself:
- Use a VPN: If you must access the darknet, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect your online activity and hide your location.
- Use a secure browser: Use a secure browser like The Onion Router (or Tor, as it’s more commonly known as) to access the darknet. This will provide you with an extra layer of encryption and anonymity. Other darknets are Freenet and ZeroNet, but they are not anonymous.
- Be cautious with personal information: Avoid sharing personal information on the Dark Web, as this information can be used for identity theft or other illegal activities. Guard your data by enabling multi-factor authentication and anti-malware protection. Another thing to keep in mind is to be careful of what data permissions you give – when pop-ups appear, don’t just mindlessly click ‘yes’. Read it thoroughly to see what you’re giving away. Lastly, don’t reuse your passwords across multiple platforms, as tempting as it may be.
- Be cautious of scams: Only buy from reputable sellers with positive feedback, and use escrow services when possible to protect your money.
- Use a secure payment method: Use a secure payment method like Bitcoin, which is difficult to trace and offers some anonymity.
Is your brand’s data already on the Dark Web?
With the ability to provide airtight anonymity, the environment is a breeding ground for elevated risks of financial fraud. Take action against identity theft, phishing and other cybercrime with FraudWatch. Our expert agents offer high quality cyber intelligence services and dark web monitoring for businesses just like yours.
Our specialists are capable of suggesting particular measures to reduce the risks of any possible threats, security breaches, or vulnerabilities. Additionally, they can offer your staff training on the most effective cybersecurity practices. Contact FraudWatch today to discuss your options.