The Dark Web is a small part of the Deep Web, which people access using special software. This software allows website operators and users to remain untraceable or anonymous. On the Dark Web and the Deep Web, people post information in chat rooms, on sites, and in blogs just like the regular internet. This information is available to many services, such as Check People and other screening providers.
People tend to make sensitive information vulnerable without realizing it, for example, by enabling location services. Criminals can collect information from your posts about what you’re doing and where you live. If you post that you’re traveling, you might find your home broken into when you return from your vacation.
Obviously, the same precautions need to be taken as when using the regular internet. However, there are some specifics about the Dark Web that need to be considered.
Just How Dangerous is the Dark Web?
Below, we’ve compiled a list of how much your data is worth on the Dark Web. The prices below are an estimate based on research and reference articles and can vary over time.
Your Social Security number is worth just $1. Your Fullz info, an info “package” including not only your Social Security number but also your name, account numbers, DOB, and other valuable information, can be sold for $30. This information bundle can inflict grave immediate damage.
Credit or debit cards run from $5 to $110 each. Understandably, credit cards are more desirable. If your bank information is available as well, that’s an additional $15. With a CVV number, the price increases by $5. PayPal, TransferWise, and other payment services login information is available for up to $200.
- Subscription services: Up to $10
- Loyalty accounts: Up to $20
- Diplomas: Up to $400
- US passports: Up to $2,000
- Driver’s license: $20
Medical records can be sold for up to $1,000 depending on whether they get a hold of your whole database or a single record, as well as on how complete they are.
Protecting Yourself from the Dangers
These findings may seem scary or even overwhelming, but protection begins with awareness. Obviously, not accessing the Dark Web is the best way to protect yourself from its risks. If you’re dead set on using it, however, storing sensitive data offline and changing your passwords frequently are two ways you can protect yourself.
Store Data Offline
You can store personal info off the cloud and offline in general. People use USBs, SD cards, and portable hard drives to store and organize their personal data safely offline. The Dark Web can’t access something that is not online.
Apply Healthy Password Practices
You could write all your passwords, credit card numbers, family members’ social security numbers, and other personal data in a notebook. Don’t use the same passwords across all of your social, work, email, and especially online bank accounts if you have access to virtual banking. Every account should have a unique password. Close any accounts that you don’t use.
Even if you have strong passwords, change them on a regular basis. If you set your browser to remember all of your passwords and fill them in automatically, they will all sync when you sync your account with another device. This comes with certain risks. For instance, anyone who uses a shared computer in the office that you forget to sign out of will get access to every single one of your passwords.
Keep Software Updated
Perform software updates on your laptop, phone, tablet, and/or desktop regularly and keep your antivirus software current. Security patches are important for data protection. You might consider hiring cybersecurity professionals to monitor your network if you have a company that does business online. A reliable cybersecurity firm will make sure your business transactions and data are safe from ill-meant entities on the Dark Web.
Cybersecurity experts will also make sure your office network’s encryptions and security protocols are updated and recommend reliable antivirus software.
Never use free antivirus at home. Experts have found that outdated software is the main factor enabling security breaches. You can get all in one protection for your computer for less than $20 a month.
The national credit bureaus provide services such as alerts and Dark Web monitoring, which can help protect you and your loved ones. You will also see your FICO score and credit report, increasing your awareness of identity theft indications. Some background check services allow you to run a free Dark Web scan on your email address, phone number, and SSN.