Most people spend a good portion of their days happily humming along on the internet, thinking they’re safe and secure. They navigate around Google, Facebook, Amazon, and news sites. They can’t believe how huge the internet is!    Most people don’t know they’re actually only visiting four percent of the internet. There’s a whole world hiding beyond our safe surface-level sites. Known as the Dark Web, it’s a much less hospitable place.  


What exactly is the Dark Web?  

The Dark Web is a conglomeration of websites that cannot be found on the usual search engines or accessed via traditional web browsers. Their location and identity are hidden through encryption tools such as TOR. TOR was originally created to protect military communication but now has a much broader utilization for both Dark Web purposes and highly secure communication. You typically have to access Dark Web sites utilizing TOR or a similar tool.     People create sites on the Dark Web in order to hide where they’re operating from, as well as to remain anonymous. TOR hides all IP information, identifying information, as well as data transfers. Over half of the sites on this web are used for criminal activities.  


Why Do People Use the Dark Web?  

One of the most prevalent uses of the Dark Web is buying and selling illegal goods, such as recreational drugs, weapons, fake identities, and organs. The proliferation of cryptocurrencies—like Bitcoin—has facilitated these sales. People living within totalitarian societies that restrict communication also take to this web to share their thoughts freely. So, it’s not all bad down there.    The most dangerous use of the Dark Web for businesses is the exchange of stolen credentials (usernames and passwords) and identities. An individual’s personal credentials can typically be sold on there for as low as $1. Hackers utilize these purchased credentials to: 
  • Gain access to important financial information and steal identities. 
  • Drain bank accounts. (Access to a Bank of America account holding $50,000 can be purchased for $500). 
  • Access accounts for further phishing attacks 
  • Threaten people with exposure of sensitive information. 
  • Compromise other accounts using the same passwords and perpetuate the sale of personal Information. 
  Are you exposed on the Dark Web?   The average citizen will never have a reason to access this web. However, their credentials could easily be floating around, endangering their livelihoods. Once your credentials are released on the Dark Web, there is precious little you can do to have them removed. However, you should, at the very least, know when you’ve been compromised so that you can take actions to protect yourself. Changing your passwords and activating two-factor authentication are wise first steps.     We recommend utilizing a full Dark Web monitoring service that alerts you if credentials appear on to be present.  These services constantly scan the web for your information and alert you whenever something suspicious appears. These alerts don’t necessarily mean a breach has occurred, but they are very good warning that something bad may be coming. You can then create a plan of attack before any damage is done. Most people will stick their heads in the sand. We firmly believe in operating in the better safe than sorry camp.    

How should you get started with Dark Web monitoring?  

Our team can run a preliminary scan of your domain revealing the likely breaches in the last 36 months. We’ll then review that report with you and come up with a plan of action to alleviate any major dangers. Contact us to request a dark web scan.