06 Jun Hackers are stealing and selling your Details
Your personal details & passwords might be up for sale on the Dark Web… but what is it?
There are three main tiers to the internet – The first is known as the ‘Public Web’, forming only around 4% of the internet; The platform that we all use every day and is formed of services like websites and social media platforms.
The ‘Deep Web’, which represents the largest part of the internet at around 93%, containing private servers & systems, such as cloud services and CRM databases.
Which leaves a small corner of the internet at around 3%, which is typically for illegal activity and is not as easily accessed. Named the ‘Dark Web’, undetectable and sealed away from regular internet users, it is a prime location for the conduct of business between criminals of all kinds.
How have my credentials got there and why?
If a hacker has been able to gain admission to a list of user login details from a platform or service, your personal details might well be on that list. These private details will have value to other criminals, therefore are shared and sold with other criminals within the Dark Web.
This malicious communal want access to your details to infiltrate your business and personal life. They can easily mimic your actions and, through several dissimilar routes, look to defraud you and indirectly those they identify in relation to.
Should I be anxious?
If your login credentials, email addresses and passwords have been recorded on the Dark Web, they will likely be visible to anyone & everyone that wants them….
And, worse; if you have the routine of using the same password, email address and login ID across lots of different platforms you access, such as your online banking, social media, email accounts and private file storage; you are hugely vulnerable to cyber-attack and a potential subject of being fleeced across your entire internet existence.
With admission to all your cloud services, it is incredibly likely your identity will be stolen and used as a platform to try to conduct further deceitful activity by targeting those you relate to via social media and email.
But, what can I do?
There are tools obtainable that can firstly scan the Dark Web and critically classify whether you are at risk. Such services then preserve your peace of mind with monitoring & alerting, by constantly looking up the dark web for your personal credentials, such as; email address, or other accompanying usernames or IDs, and will then raise an alert to you if anything concerning has been identified.
If your details have been located on the dark web; you benefit from immediate awareness of your vulnerability and can critically act by securing access to all your impacted accounts.
How can I avoid becoming a victim?
It’s almost impossible to avoid yourself from becoming a victim; a sad realism we must all accept is that at some time, our personal information will be stolen or exposed from somewhere. This could be for a few reasons, such as; your own lack of cyber security, falling victim to a phishing attack, or, a mistake or security flaw by a third party holding your data.
NEVERTHELESS! What’s more far more vital is the fact you can become aware swiftly when you’re at risk. Having a process that includes the employment of best security practices, such as the setting of protected passwords, ensuring that you regularly change those passwords, differ the passwords & login details across multiple systems, and lastly, implement cyber security features such as 2-Factor / Multi-Factor Authentication (2FA/MFA), will help you alleviate the risks of exposure.
By administering cyber security features, such as 2FA or MFA, you can add another key obstacle to the step’s hackers have to take to try and get to your data. Should someone else try to access a system that you use, you’ll receive warning by text message, phone call, or email, to your device to authorise that login; therefore, helping cyber criminals fail to gain access to your data.
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