Your details could be all over the Dark Web… what is it?
The internet has three definite tiers – the ‘Public Web’, astonishingly forming roughly 4% of the internet, is what we all use every day, and includes services like day to day websites and social media platforms etc. The ‘Deep Web’, representing the largest amount at around 93% of the internet, consists of private servers & systems, such as cloud services and CRM databases. Which leaves about 3% of the internet in the dark, typically used for illegal activity. Identified as the ‘Dark Web’, undetectable and difficult to access, it is therefore a prime location for the communal activities between cyber criminals of all kinds.
How and why have my details appeared on the Dark Web?
If a hacker has been able to steal a list of user login credentials from a service or system; these private details will have value to many other cyber criminals, therefore are shared publicly and sold with connecting parties on the Dark Web.
This criminal community want access to your personal details to penetrate your lifestyle, mimic your actions and, through several different means, look to defraud you and those you relate to. One breach is all it takes to take full control.
Should I be worried?
If your login identifications, email addresses, passwords and even bank details, have been exposed and listed on the Dark Web, they will likely be obtainable for purchase to the rest of the world.
And, far worse; if you typically use the same passwords, email addresses and login IDs across lots of unique platforms you access, which is troublingly common, such as accessing your online banking, social media profiles, email accounts and private photo & data storage; you are extremely vulnerable to cyber-attacks and being fleeced via your entire internet presence.
With access to all these isolated services, it is incredibly likely your identity will be stolen and used as a platform to try to defraud those you relate to via social media and email.
But, what can I do?
Many services are available that can scan the Dark Web and will identify whether you are in danger. Such services can maintain a continuous look & watch by trawling the data found within the dark web for your personal credentials, such as; email address, or other connected usernames, and then raise an alert if anything of note can be found at any time.
If your details are regrettably found, you are then instantly made aware of your position of weakness, and critically can act by at least resetting your passwords and user IDs wherever used, giving you back some control.
How can I avoid becoming a target?
It’s practically impossible to stop yourself from becoming a target; an ill-fated harsh reality we must all accept, is that at some point, our private details will be stolen from somewhere. Whether that’s through our own lack of cyber security defences, being the victim of an email phishing attack, or, a mistake on someone else’s part.
NONETHELESS! The more significant factor is being aware when you’re at risk and having a process in place to mitigate your exposure both personally, and for your business. By applying best security practices, such as the setting of protected passwords, ensuring that you regularly change those passwords, differ the passwords & login details across different systems, and lastly, implement cyber security features such as 2-Factor / Multi-Factor Authentication (2FA/MFA).
By enforcing cyber security features, such as 2FA or MFA, you can add another hurdle to cyber criminals in the process of accessing web-based data & services, beyond the first tier of only usernames and passwords. Should your password be obtained elsewhere and that person tries to access a system that you use, you’ll receive notification by text message, phone call, or email, to your device to authorise that login; therefore faulting cyber criminals from getting to your data.
Who is Iron Dome?
One of our core values is to help educate and empower businesses with the knowledge around cyber security and keeping their IT systems safe. A conversation may not lead to us working together, but if you are able to learn anything from a chat with our team then we have accomplished what we set out to do. Educate!