How to secure your data from the Dark Web?

The Internet that we see and is visible to most users is known as the surface web, but this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Internet. Using search engines like Google, we are restricted to the surface layer of the Internet, but there exists a more profound layer known as the DarkNet or Dark Web, which is usually known for a collection of hidden websites that are not indexed by search engines like Google and are inaccessible using a conventional browser.

What Does the Term "Dark Web" Mean?

The Dark Web, often known as the DarkNet, is a collection of websites with purposefully concealed IP addresses. Dark web content is accessed using encrypted overlay networks that utilize the public Internet but necessitate the deployment of specialized software to serve as an overlay network gateway.

Criminals, black-market consumers, law enforcement, and journalists use the Dark Web; therefore, it has beneficial and adverse features.

  • On the plus side, the Dark Web makes it possible for government agencies to share sensitive information.

  • On the downside, the Dark Web has evolved into a marketplace where users may purchase illegal goods and services and even give reviews, just as they can on the public Internet.

The Deep Web is a subclass of the Dark Web, which refers to web information that regular search engines aren't meant to be scanned. ClearWeb material, on the other hand, is website content that has been indexed and can be found using traditional search engines.

How Does Personal Data End Up on the Dark Web?

If you've never gone there, your information shouldn't be on the Dark Web. Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as that. Criminals are lurking even when you are casually studying, playing, or conducting business on the public Internet. They collect personal information from you and sell it on the Dark Web via forms, free websites, and data breaches.

  • Data breaches − You may occasionally hear of a significant data breach at a massive corporation in the news. Adobe, Canva, eBay, Equifax, and MyFitnessPal are just a few of the most well-known companies founded in the last two decades. When a company is hacked, the information of its customers is stolen. If a firm reports a data breach and you have an account or any information saved with them, start safeguarding your passwords and personal data right once.

  • Unsecure Public WiFi networks − When you connect to a network that isn't password-protected, anyone can see what you're doing on the device you've joined with. As a result, avoid utilizing public WiFi whenever possible. If you absolutely must use public WiFi for whatever reason, always use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

  • Online security has been compromised − If you visit an unencrypted website, a hacker can use a "man-in-the-middle" attack to intercept the information you enter. Always visit websites that begin with HTTPS rather than HTTP since the "S" indicates that the site is more secure. Install the HTTPS Everywhere browser add-on from the Electronic Frontier Foundation if you need to access a website that does not employ the HTTPS protocol.

Methods for Keeping Your Data Off the Dark Web

The Dark Web is a marketplace where personal data is sold, including birth dates, social security and bank account numbers, medical information, and even addresses. This information can then be used to get access to your financial accounts or, even worse, to impersonate you for nefarious purposes. To keep your personal data safe from the Dark Web, you can take the following steps −

  • Turn on Multi-Factor Authentication for all your online accounts. Even accounts on social media. Multi-factor authentication allows you to safeguard your accounts by adding an extra layer of security. Along with your password, the site will send you a code to your phone or email, which you must enter to confirm your identity.

  • Make sure you have the right anti-malware/antivirus software. Malware/antivirus software is used to protect your computer from viruses, spyware, adware, trojans, and other malware infections. When one of these programs is found, the software notifies you and removes it from your computer.

  • Update your software regularly. Malware/Antivirus services continually discover new dangers and change their procedures, so keep your software updated. To stay secure from the latest and most sophisticated threats, ensure your software is updated.

  • Manage your passwords safely and securely. This entails updating your password every 30 to 90 days and creating a unique password for each account.

  • Run a Dark Web Scan to determine if your data is already on the Internet. This applies to both personal and professional information. The use of specialized data monitoring services can also aid in the detection of potential personal data thefts. Hackers use real-time notifications to scan vital information and retrieve personal information throughout the Internet. There is a variety of cyber monitoring software available on the market that can assist you in protecting your data against cyber breaches.