The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Dark Web

When it comes to cyber security and protecting your digital assets, you may hear the term “Dark Web” used by news outlets or friends as a place where your personal data may live.  To clear up any confusion, here is a quick primer on what the Dark Web actually is.

The Dark Web is a collection of websites and Networks on the Internet that are only accessible by using special software.  Tor (The Onion Router) is free software that is typically used to access information on the Dark Web.  To clear up confusion, sometimes the term Dark Web and Deep Web are used synonymously.  The Deep Web simply refers to parts of the Internet that aren’t indexed by search engines. The Dark Web is a small subset of the Deep Web.  One of the main differences between the Deep Web as a whole is that you can access sites on the Deep Web directly by using an IP address or URL.  The Dark Web can’t be accessed this way.

The type of sites that are accessible on the Dark Web includes thing such as hate sites, illegal pornography, drugs, terrorism, criminal services, hacking services, and identity theft information.  The most important takeaway from this list is the identity theft portion. 

Whenever there is a data breach (e.g. LinkedIn, Yahoo, Home Depot) where personal information such as names, credit card info, or e-mail addresses are compromised, that information often finds its way onto a site on the Dark Web for either trading or selling.  While it is almost impossible to remove your information from the Dark Web once it’s posted, there are some things you can do to protect yourself, so your information becomes less than ideal to a cybercriminal.

Adding a Security Freeze, Scrubbing Your Data from data brokers, Using MFA on all online accounts, and adding additional security to your phone to prevent Porting Scams all go a long way to protecting your digital profile.  If your personal information somehow makes it onto the Dark Web but you’ve followed the aforementioned tips, you’ll have additional layers of protection in place that make it harder to steal your identity. 

You can also add another layer of protection with Rubica to help protect your devices from being compromised by known phishing links, ransomware, and malicious redirects.

Contact us if you have any questions about the Dark Web or any other cyber security matters.