As days go by, the dark web becomes an increasingly complex threat. Its negative impact on cybersecurity is constantly growing. Since sensitive data can be shared and sold on the dark web, it’s important that we understand just how the underbelly of the Internet comes to possess so much of our personal data.
1. Surveys on the Surface
You must have come across the most ridiculously wild and hilarious surveys on the surface web. No, we aren’t really talking about ones that help you understand the kind of animal you are. We are talking about something worse.
You might get notifications from one of your regular apps, saying that it demands a survey. Oh, maybe it’s your music app? Or perhaps your online drive requires a new sign-in for no reason.
Be extremely wary of these suspicious elements. If you think you might not be able to use your discretion on this, Bitdefender is here to help you out. These surveys simply seek to collect information about you and thousands of other people, and they illegally sell this data on the dark web.
Always remember that you should steer clear of fad surveys that always seem to ask for too much information for no good reason. Using one of their antivirus products, Bitdefender will most efficiently let you know when they sense apparent danger. Meanwhile, you should practice super cautionary measures too.
This might be especially applicable for you if you happen to be a famous person or even an online microcelebrity. Or perhaps you aspire to become a celebrity. Do you want to appear in any top 100 list? Be sure to consider the unintended consequences of your privacy first.
The dark web is notorious for being the place where people can engage in planned doxing. In other words, hacking into systems to elicit important or sensitive data such as real-life addresses, and then putting it up for sale or sharing it with the public, knowing that the targeted person may now be in physical danger. Oftentimes, these actions are politically motivated. Seldom, it’s just done for fun, making the dark web extra dangerous.
The kind of data here may vary. Some claim that it’s almost always financial data. Honestly, though, unless the motivation is clearly understood—it is hard to comprehend what might actually be stolen. Until it is too late.
3. Leaking Source Codes
For an organization, this sounds like the perfect recipe for disaster. The dark web has its ways around organizations and their online source codes. If your source code happens to be in the wind, you might as well bid it farewell. Those vulnerabilities will likely result in it being sold to the highest bidder.
There are obvious ways to deal with it, though. One cautious move that you can consider is using dark web monitoring services. As we mentioned, despite the dark web shrinking in apparent size, it is also becoming pretty good at disguising itself from the surface web. Being cautious and keeping an eye on any dark web leaks becomes an important preventive measure in itself.
Second, you will have to ensure leak-proof systems on your entire network. For the most part, breaches happen because of internal lapses. If you run a business, make sure you have educated the members of your organization on how to protect their online identities.
Third, do not venture into the dark web directly for any reason. Most of these breaches happen because some folks think that it isn’t all that risky to browse the dark web while inexperienced. Rather, they think navigating doesn’t cause much harm. The reality is very different, as you’ve seen already.
4. Templates that are Spoofed
Oh boy, this one has to be the most notoriously deceptive one of them all. The dark web is notorious for placing or creating fake or ‘spoofed’ websites, and this is how they ruin you.
Essentially, these websites are established along the lines of banking companies or anything that might demand credentials. They are emulated in such a clever way that it is pretty difficult to differentiate real from fake. You know the rest of the story.
Sure, you can equip yourself with measures like using a VPN. which will ensure that you are protected geographically speaking; and that your real IP is hidden. But you will also have to exercise a massive amount of caution because once data is breached, it cannot be undone. VPNs should help you, but there is more that you can do.
Using two-factor authentication can prevent you from accidentally leaking access to your accounts on the dark web. For instance, your valid website or app, if assigned a two-factor authentication, will behave differently.
According to the wise Two-Factor Toucan, in the case of emulations of websites or apps, it will be difficult for the spoof to apply the two-factor measures. This should give you a foreshadow or a warning if things seem shady.
5. Databases at Breach—Phishing Out Information
The other way in which employee information can be breached is by phishing attacks on databases. The etiologic reasons aren’t quite clear as such. After all, it only takes a (mis)click or two to put things at risk.
Notorious elements of the dark web are infamous for exploring vulnerable databases. Your organization should ensure that good protections are in place to mitigate or prevent data breaches. Moreover, there should be sophisticated tools to (dare we say) fish out the probable elements of phishing.
6. ID Counterfeiting
Stealing IDs or counterfeiting them has become a commonplace affair. Infamous folks are making the most of the dark web by making fake IDs and selling them to appropriate buyers.
These fake IDs are used to gain access to sensitive information. If not, there are also cases of stealing IDs to be granted access to high-profile events. This often manifests in real or tangible items too.
For instance, if there is a breach of invitations to high-profile events, the folks who did it can be present physically too. Be it masquerading as a journalist, or someone else, this can be pretty perilous. Yes, it does sound like a Bond film, just exponentially more harmful.
Let’s not even get into the more technical arenas as to how these security breaches are done. Creating randomized infrastructures under the name of ‘traffic tunnels’ is a newly discovered way. Making items inaccessible using regular browsers is another way.
You need not be wary of all this. As long as you aren’t doing anything silly on the surface web, you should be good to go. With a little bit of added security, of course.