The dark web – mysterious, dangerous, and something regular people don’t have to worry about. Right? Not exactly. Data breaches have exposed millions of personal and financial records, leaving virtually everyone at risk for identity theft. In fact, there were 13 million victims in 2019 alone!1 Once that information is exposed, you can probably guess where it often ends up: the dark web.
What is the Dark Web?
Most of us are familiar with the term “dark web” – but what exactly is it? There are three levels to the Internet: that which is publicly available (the world wide web), the deep web, and the dark web. Here’s a quick overview of what each of these levels entail:
- The World Wide Web: This part of the Internet is made up of online shopping sites, news sources, social media, and other sites where you likely spend most of your time.
- The Deep Web: This makes up the largest segment of the Internet and includes members-only sites, school intranets, and internal company sites.
- The Dark Web: This is a hidden network of sites that you can only access with a special web browser. This is where the majority of identity theft incidents take place, as these sites allow users to mask their IP address, maintaining their anonymity.
While the dark web is the primary spot for buying and selling personal information, there are several ways identity thieves use the public web to obtain that information in the first place. Keep an eye out for some of the most common scams to lessen your chances of your information falling into the wrong hands.
How Can I Keep My Information Off the Dark Web?
If it does hit the dark web, however, you want to know about it immediately. If you’re a Zander ID Theft Solutions member, we’ll send you an alert if your information is found on the dark web so you know to take proactive measures like checking your credit report for suspicious transactions and placing a fraud alert on your credit. A fraud alert will notify creditors that extra steps should be taken to verify your identity if your information is used to apply for credit. Using strong passwords, using a virtual private network (VPN), and being careful with your wallet and other items which may contain sensitive information are just a few ways to keep your information safer.
What Does Dark Web Monitoring Mean?
Dark web monitoring scans hundreds of thousands of websites for your personal information. If a match is found, you’ll receive an alert. Zander ID Theft Solutions’ surveillance technology monitors black-market sites globally, covering everything from chat rooms to social media. This process scans for your social security number, bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, passport numbers, medical ID numbers, and any other information you provide us to monitor.
Why is Dark Web Monitoring Important?
The process of identifying personal information on the dark web is more than anyone can handle manually – in fact, this portion of the Internet isn’t even accessible to the average person! Zander ID Theft Solutions uses technology that scans millions of data points with spidering technology and forum extraction every day to alert you if your information is being bought, sold, or traded on the dark web. If we see your information somewhere it doesn’t belong, we’ll let you know and will walk you through the next steps in protecting your identity.
Call Zander Identity Theft Solutions at 1-888-210-3274 or view plans starting at less than $7 a month. Contact us if you have any questions about dark web monitoring.
1Citation: 2019 Identity Fraud Study, Javelin Strategy & Research, Identity Theft Resource Center