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The dark web most likely has your credentials, what is it?

The internet consists of three tiers – the ‘Public Web’, amazingly founding 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, containing of private servers & systems, such as cloud services and CRM databases. Which leaves about 3% of the internet in the dark, typically used for unlawful activity. Recognised as the ‘Dark Web’, invisible and difficult to access, it is therefore a leading location for the communal activities between cyber criminals of all kinds.

 

How and why are my details on the Dark Web?

If a cyber thief 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 break is all it takes to obtain full control.

 

Should I be bothered?

If your login identifications, email addresses, passwords and even bank details, have been exposed on the Dark Web, they will likely be reachable for purchase to the rest of the world.

And, far worse; if you stereotypically use the same passwords, email addresses and login IDs across lots of unique platforms you access, which is disturbingly common, such as accessing your online banking, social media profiles, email accounts and private photo & data storage; you are enormously vulnerable to cyber-attacks and being defrauded via your entire internet presence.

With access to all these isolated services, it is incredibly likely your individuality will be stolen and used as a platform to trick those you connect with via social media and email.

 

But what can I do?

Lots of services are available that can scan the Dark Web and will identify whether you are at threat. Such services can maintain a nonstop look & watch by searching the data found within the dark web for your personal credentials, such as; email address, or other linked usernames, and then raise an alert if anything of note can be found at any time.

If your details are unfortunately found, you are then promptly made aware of your position of vulnerability, 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 virtually impossible to stop yourself from becoming a target; an unfortunate 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, an error on someone else’s part.

HOWEVER! The more important factor is being aware when you’re at risk and having a process i­­­­­­­­­­n place to alleviate 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 implementing cyber security features, such as 2FA or MFA, you can add another obstacle 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. 

 

Need some support for peace of mind?

If you’re bewildered by the prospect of reviewing your IT Security, we can help.

We’re Net Platforms and we have years of experience in supporting small-medium businesses across London and Essex with such technology challenges.

Net Platforms provides a full range of professional IT services, including a full suite of cloud products, including support with Microsoft Office 365 & Microsoft Azure.

Please contact the team today on 0207 993 9035 or hello@netplatforms.co.uk.