What is Dark Web Monitoring, and How Does it Work?

Written by

Almost everything and anything is searchable on the world wide web. And I literally mean ANYTHING… Including personal information about YOU!

Cybercriminals can buy or sell your personal information on the dark web. Dark web monitoring searches the dark web and notifies you should your information be found. Keep reading, and learn how to stay protected!

Keeping You Safe from the Dark Web and Deep Web: Dark Web Monitoring

We're certain you can't help but wonder how to stay protected from all the anonymous and illicit transactions happening on the dark web.

the dark web

Thankfully, there is a solution! And this is where dark web monitoring comes into play!

What Is Dark Web Monitoring?

Dark web monitoring is an easy term to understand. To put it simply, it searches and keeps track of your personal information on the dark web.

It monitors different websites every day to search whether any personal information has been stolen or exposed on the internet or dark web. Such information could include the following:

  • Bank accounts credentials: cybercriminals can easily steal your money under your nose. Worse, they'll put your bank information up for sale to other persons.
  • Credit cards – one of the MOST COMMON items sold on the dark web. It is so easy to steal, especially if the websites you use for your credit cards aren't safe and secure.
  • Phone number or Email address – makes you highly susceptible to hacking and even identity theft! Your emails contain personal information like credit card statements and home addresses, which hackers can use to their advantage.
  • Driver's license or Passport number – gives cybercriminals access to your valid ID. Just imagine the different things they can do once they've got access to your IDs.
  • Social security number – cybercriminals can easily access your personal information and even open several accounts because of this. With access to your social security number, hackers can pretend to be you.

As can be observed from the list, that information and credentials pretty much contain personal and sensitive information.

Knowing your social security number and credit card alone is enough to defraud you.

Hackers and criminals can do whatever they want with the data once they get a hold of it! And from there on, you've got yourself a big data breach problem.

Just imagine how dangerous it is for your credit card numbers to be so accessible like that. They can put it up for sale for different others to use!

And because the dark and deep web has a lot of anonymity, you wouldn't know where the data breaches come from.

How Can Dark Web Monitoring Work Help You?

We're sure you're wondering whether your information is on the dark web. Can you imagine how many websites have access to the information you don't even know of?

It wouldn't be impossible to have any of your information found on the internet at this age and time.

Type your name on any search engine, and something about you will surely come up. What more in the dark web, right?

No matter how careful you are, there are those instances where your information gets stolen without you knowing.

The beauty of dark web monitoring, as its name suggests, is that it monitors the dark web for you. It scans the dark web for any of your information and makes sure it isn't sold on the dark web.

It alerts you of any suspicious activity for you to resolve the problem immediately.

Dark web monitoring services can go through hundreds of websites on the dark web and alarm you if there are any threat actors! The search expands to the following:

  • Chat and forums
  • Malware
  • Peer to peer sharing networks
  • Social media
  • Web pages
  • Web services

And what this translates to is that you're less likely to be a victim of data breaches, fraud, ID theft, and more! You don't have to worry about being the victim.

Is Dark Web Monitoring Limitless?

Do note that dark web and deep web monitoring services aren't without limits.

The BIGGEST LIMITATION out there is that the internet is one huge virtual market. You can't see or visit it, so you don't know what's out there.

You've got the usual websites, IP addresses, and search engines. But what about that you can't access?

That's the real limitation!

Dark web monitoring covers a pretty wide reach, BUT that doesn't mean it can search through the entirety of the internet world.

There are still many unknown pages out there that are just hard to discover. Often, those websites become the breeding ground for identity thieves and criminals!

Worse, law enforcement officials can't find these criminals out there either.

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean dark web monitoring isn't any good. It's still better to have some sort of PROTECTION on the internet against identity fraud, identity theft, data breach, etc.

Should You Sign-up for Dark Web Monitoring Services?

There's only one answer to this, and it's YES!

Dark web monitoring and identity theft services are so crucial today for both individuals and entities.

Individuals can benefit a lot from those types of service because they let you see if any vital information about themselves have been leaked, such as:

  • Social security numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Bank account numbers
  • Identification numbers
  • Passport number
  • Phone numbers
  • Driver's license
  • Credit reports and credit score

For a big entity, dark web monitoring services are crucial, to say the least. This is especially true if a company holds a ton of information about its customers.

Just imagine the data breach issues that can happen to an entity that is NOT CAREFUL. It's a disaster waiting to happen!

A dark web monitoring service can do them a great service of keeping their customers feel safe!

The Underbelly of the Internet: Dark Web

The dark web is an area of the internet that is only accessible with specific browser software, such as Tor.

In real life, we've got ourselves a “Black Market.” And I'm sure you're more than familiar with the products and services they offer.

It's full of illegal and unregulated things. Many people get into a lot of trouble in the black market, so it is best kept as a secret.

Now, think of the dark web as the “black market” of the cyber world. It is the underbelly of the internet, which is very hard to find and access.

You can pretty much find many things on the dark web, assuming you can find it yourself.

Accessing the dark web is NO EASY TASK. You don't just access it on your search engines as you'd normally do. You'll need to use an encrypted web browser, and more.

But once you've found yourself into the dark web, you'll be in for a shock.

Illegal Trades and Transactions on the Dark Web

The dark web is an interesting dimension to visit. We're sure you can't help but feel curious about what's going on with all the rumors and murmurs from other internet users.

One thing's for sure, the dark web is a safe haven for cybercriminals. A lot of illegal trades and undetected transactions take place!

Now that's some serious and dangerous activity.

The dark web is the perfect place to commit any crimes while keeping yourself anonymous.

Why?

  • No IP address to traceback
  • Completely anonymous: both cybercriminal and seller
  • Unable to trace the dark web itself.

Because of such anonymity, it wouldn't be hard to imagine what sorts of illegal trade and activities going on. You can't bear to imagine what kind of activities take place, such as identity theft!

Law enforcement tries their very best to get a hold of these criminals, but finding them on the online web isn't always easy.

With over a million web pages to visit, getting into the right dark web is a challenge in itself.

How Likely Will You Be a Victim of Identity Theft?

Several persons out there are more susceptible to being a victim of identity theft than others.

Whether their information is leaked on the dark web, or readily available online, there are just some people who aren't that cautious.

Have you ever asked yourself, do you fall under those types of persons? We've listed down some of the habits and behaviors of people who are more likely to fall victim to these criminals.

Repeats Passwords

There's a lot of online accounts you have to create these days, and creating a unique password for each of them is a bit tricky.

Admittedly, trying to remember each of them is difficult, so some persons would use the same password for all of them.

Using a single password for everything sounds convenient. But think of all the risks involved once a hacker gets hold of your password.

They can easily access all your other accounts without any challenge!

Shares Email Address

In the online world, email addresses work just like our real-life personal addresses. We receive important messages in our emails, which sometimes contain sensitive and personal information.

Can you begin to imagine the chaos that will take place in your life, if someone gets hold of your email address?

Your email address is a plethora of different personal information about yourself! Hackers can easily steal your identity!

Shares Personal Information

Each time you create an online profile, you usually have to divulge some personal information about yourself. These include:

  • Your name
  • Hometown
  • Contact number
  • Etc

At first glance, all that information looks pretty innocent. There are hardly any red flags you need to watch out for, considering how the information seems basic.

But believe it or not, no matter how innocent the information looks, many identity thieves can still use it to their advantage.

They can make a persona out of the information you give or even pretend to be you!

Discloses Financial Information

The beauty of the internet is that you can buy almost anything from it, from the most common household items to the most unique artifact.

Anything!

You'll have to disclose your financial information when you go online shopping. This includes your credit card number, debit cards, bank account numbers, to name a few.

Unfortunately, some websites automatically save your financial information. To others, this is a good thing. They don't have to go through the hassle of inputting their details over and over again.

In the long run, however, this isn't good for you. Once there's a privacy and security breach on the websites you use your credit card information on, you'll be in big trouble.

Is the Dark Web All Bad?

Not Entirely!

Admittedly, when we think of the dark web, we automatically associate it with criminal activity. We can't blame you, because it's generally what we mostly hear it for.

But did you know the dark web/deep web isn't all bad?

Believe it or not, but the dark web hosts actual and legitimate companies and content. It isn't all about cybercrime activities!

There's some wholesome and good content in there, like the surface web.

Just because there's a lot of anonymity and crimes going on the dark web doesn't automatically mean it isn't any good like the surface web.

Protecting Yourself From the Dark Web: Easy Solutions!

When you think of the dark web, the word feels so burdensome. With such a negative connotation to it, you'd rather shrug it over your shoulder and forget about it.

Unfortunately, you can't do that anymore. You can't just shrug off the potential data breaches!

This is especially true in this day and age where there are so many advancements in technology.

The internet is a big vast world that's yet to be explored. Its full potential hasn't been unleashed just yet, and many more can happen.

This just means that you need to be extra careful with the web browsers you visit! You can never be too safe about your online credentials.

That being said, dark web monitoring services AREN'T the only way to help you. There are different ways to keep yourself protected, and you'd be surprised how easy those solutions are.

Use a Strong Password

We can't emphasize enough how important it is for everyone to come up with strong passwords. Today, most websites would suggest using alphanumeric passwords.

The likelihood of hackers getting hold of your password is slim, compared to short and simple passwords.

So get a little creative with your passwords! If you can't remember them, use a password tracking app or list them down!

Regular Password Updates

A foolproof way to make sure no one gets access to your account is if you update your password regularly.

It's super easy to do, and it hardly takes more than five minutes!

Personally, we change our passwords as often as EVERY MONTH. It may be a little challenging to keep track of them sometimes, but it's worth it!

We feel A LOT SAFER knowing that we're keeping our information secure and that we're less likely to be a victim of fraud.

Use VPN Services

Today, it's so common for anyone to connect to a public network. Whether you're in an airport, mall, or a coffee shop, you are NOT SAFE.

The public network is a breeding ground for hackers and criminals, waiting on the sidelines to hack into your connection.

To avoid any untoward incidents or ID theft, we recommend using a virtual private network (VPN).

No one can hack into your connection and steal information about you!

Visit Secure Websites

There's a number of websites out there, but NOT ALL of them are secure. Before you disclose your personal information, better check if the website is secure in the first place.

Many internet users who don't check the website fall victim to sharing their personal and financial information online.

Imagine if people share their social security numbers, email addresses, or phone numbers on an unsecured website.

Report Suspicious Activity

If you think there is suspicious activity going on with your accounts, don't hesitate to report them.

A lot of web developers are proactive at resolving these issues, making sure consumers can trust them again.

The same thing goes if you notice anything suspicious with your bank accounts. If you notice any fraudulent transactions, contact your bank provider IMMEDIATELY.

They may be able to revert the transaction and track where the activity is coming from.

You can also alert your local law enforcement so that they can generate leads and monitor any similar behavior.

Conclusion

Times today are a lot different from what they used to be. There are criminals both in the real and virtual world.

It's so important to be extra prudent with the information you share online than feel sorry later on. Dark web monitoring services can do a lot of help to keep you safe in the long run!

Whether it's in real life or the online world, stay extra careful. With many privacy, fraud, and identity issues going around, you don't want to be a victim.

References

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to our weekly roundup newsletter and get the latest industry news & trends

By clicking 'subscribe" you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.