Pro IT

The Dark Web – Beware!

What is the dark web?  The dark web is a part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines and is a hidden collective of internet sites only accessible by a specialised web browser. It is used for keeping internet activity anonymous and private, which can be helpful in both legal and illegal applications. While some use it to evade government censorship, it has also utilised for highly unlawful activity.

On the dark web, hackers can buy stolen user email and software accounts to break into the computers of unsuspecting victims. They can hack bank accounts and get their hands on critical personal information to commit identity fraud.

Chances are you and your organisation have digital information caught on the dark web and is available to cybercriminals. Detail could include login credentials for your email or social media accounts, private financial information like credit card numbers or online banking credentials. Considering the above, developing strategies for protection from potentially crippling breaches is something you need to be proactively thinking about.

Here Are Some Strategies for End-user protection against exploitation by the dark web

Regardless of being a business, parent, or any other user of the web, you’ll want to take precautions to keep your information and private life off the dark web.

Identity theft monitoring 

Dark Web monitoring is critical if you want to keep your private information from being misused. All types of personal data can be distributed online for a profit. Passwords, physical addresses, bank account numbers, and IRD numbers circulate in the dark web all the time. Leaks of personal data can also lead to damage to your reputation via social fraud.

Antimalware and antivirus protections 

These are equally crucial to prevent malicious actors from exploiting you. The dark web is filled with information theft from malware-infected users. Attackers can use tools like keyloggers to gather your data, and they can infiltrate your system on any part of the web. Computer security programs like ID Agent and Webroot are comprehensive and cover identity monitoring, antimalware and antivirus defences.

Change your passwords and follow some basic rules

Enforce a schedule in your organisation that ensures staff change their passwords for critical business applications and encourage them not to use their work email address for personal applications, like Facebook and Instagram. You can even schedule and set automatic reminders that let team members know it’s time to change their password. Encourage your team to take on these strategies with their personal email and financial accounts as well.

Review your cybersecurity regularly

With new cyber threats appearing constantly, committing to a regular cybersecurity assessments and check-ups are common sense. Even when you think all your IT policies and procedures are secure, cybercriminals are trying to develop workarounds to exploit you, steal your data, and sell it on the dark web.

Work with an IT provider who understands cybersecurity and the associated risk landscape and schedules regular cybersecurity assessments. Indicate that you are keen to identify any potential weak spots that could result in sensitive organisational data ending up on the dark web.

Keep your team in the loop 

While you and the other users might not be cybersecurity experts, everyone has an important role to play in minimising your risk.

Explain dark web cybersecurity threats clearly and consistently to your team. Let them know that they must be vigilant. When you include your team in your cybersecurity effort, you not only stress how important it is, you also empower them to play an active role in a well-rounded cybersecurity strategy.

Beware of unfamiliar links and downloads

Also, be sure to tell your team that they should keep an eye out for any email communications or pop-ups that seem suspicious. Even legitimate-looking emails from everyday service providers like your bank, utilities or Microsoft asking for details or asking you to validate information should be treated suspiciously. Cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to trick users into handing over information that can then be sold on the dark web.

Encourage users to watch out for email phishing or ransomware scams. Tell them to be wary before clicking on any unfamiliar link. Above all, encourage an open-door policy where team members feel comfortable approaching you about anything that seems suspicious. Remind them that if they doubt that a link or email is legitimate, they should always report it to management or your IT provider.