Dark Web Scanning: Why It Is Important

Have you heard of the dark web? If you have, there’s a chance that you already have an idea of what it is. As the hidden part of the internet where the illegal activity takes place, the dark web has become a hotspot for criminals who want to sell your data. Fortunately, dark web scans are now accessible and detailed. If you’re yet to perform a dark web scan, here’s why doing so is important for your business. 

First, you need to understand the dark web

The dark web features websites that you can’t access through the normal channels. Usually, these websites end in .onion. To access them, you need to download a special browser called Tor and use its associated search engine, DuckDuckGo.

Not all the information on the dark web is devious and immoral. But there are some sites that will sell your login credentials to buyers who are interested in identity theft. Startlingly, the dark web represents 99% of the internet you can’t Google. 

Your security credentials could be out there

How many times have you heard of a security breach and let the information pass on by without a second thought? In an era where many people sign up for apps and sites, only to forget about them later, many people have become subject to a data breach.

In 2018, a data breach affected the popular weight loss app, My Fitness Pal. Around 150 million records were compromised as a result. Users who were affected will likely find that their information is available on the dark web for others to buy.

While cybercriminals are unlikely to want to access your diet diaries, they’re probably interested in your financial accounts. If your information is available in the public domain and you routinely use the same passwords, it won’t take long for a skilled attacker to hack into your business accounts. The only way to identify whether your information is for sale is to perform a dark web scan.

You may experience further losses

Even more worrying is the fact that skilled hackers could be selling your social security number too. Others could sell your medical records, bank details, and other forms of identifying the information you wouldn’t want to share with others.

Depending on the skill of the criminal who buys your data, your losses could range from someone using your bank account to someone stealing your business data. If the person who has purchased your data knows of your business activities, they could breach your current security defenses. Using a combination of identifying information, they may be able to bypass two-factor or multifactor authentication.

Unfortunately, this could then lead to you losing your customer and client data. While this example is extreme, it does reveal how far the problem could go.

Change your passwords anyway

It’s wise to perform a dark web scan for yourself and encourage others in your business to do so. But if you find that you’re in the clear, change your passwords anyway. Try to vary your passwords between accounts so they’re very different; don’t just use variations of the same word.

And why are these changes important even if your scan is clear? As the dark web represents 99% of internet information, there’s a good chance that even the best scans won’t detect everything. Because of this, you should exercise caution on all fronts.