Tech/Software

How to deal with your information being on the dark web

dark web

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This guide outlines dealing with sensitive information on the dark web, and what to beware of.

No one wants their personal information in the hands of the wrong people, whether it’s hackers who obtain it from data breaches or marketers who buy it from data brokers. But that isn’t always feasible. Sure, there are procedures for dealing with the brokers, but once your data has been leaked on the dark web, can anybody do anything?

In a nutshell, can I get my sensitive information off the dark web?

No. It’s unstructured, undisciplined, and lawless. There is no central authority to appeal to, and there are no procedures for governing bodies to have an impact on a case-by-case basis. The most you can do is minimise the damage by taking steps to enhance your online security.

What should you do if you want to remove your information from the dark web?

Let’s start by defining the dark web. In a nutshell, it’s a phrase that refers to how internet domains are classified according to accessibility:

  • Surface web: The surface web refers to the part of the internet that is indexed by search engines (i.e., you can find it on Google, DuckDuckGo, and even Bing).
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  • Deep web: Passwords are your security. They’re used to access everything you can’t just reach with a link – such as the email inside of your inbox, your dating profile’s user interface, and so on.
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  • Dark web: The dark web, sometimes known as the “hidden internet,” is a term used to describe parts of the online world that have been purposefully hidden from view and need at least a special browser to access. The Tor Network is the most well-known example of the dark web.

The dark web is a hidden network that’s frequently utilised for unlawful activities such as drugs, weapons, and sensitive data. There is no central online crime control agency to report a violation with, much as there isn’t for offline illegal activities. On a dark website, you can’t find an email address or the server’s location, and the people in charge are certainly aware of criminal proceedings.

What if my email is on the dark web?

Chances are that your email isn’t the only thing on the dark web; it’s probably a host of other data as well.

According to data breaches studies, most internet users have had their email addresses revealed more than twice, and also lost their passwords twice on average. They’re frequently included in a bundle, as they were most likely leaked as your login credentials on a hacked website. Don’t let your personal information be vulnerable to hackers and marketers. Surfshark VPN encrypts your data, keeping it safe and out of reach.

Is my email address listed on the dark web?

Your email address is probably on the dark web. But how can you tell? While there is no way to check what’s on the dark web at any one moment, security researchers regularly discover leaked data bundles on the dark web. We may find out what data has been stolen and when by looking into these data caches.

Ways to protect your information

Public networks

Cybercriminals find it easy to stay on public wi-fi networks and can collect passwords and even bank details this way. Even if you are in a trusted establishment, it is advisable not to connect to public networks. Opt for a private VPN for more security.

Passwords

The first step to protect your information in the virtual environment and reduce the risk of intrusion is to create a strong password. Although overlooked by many internet users, a complex combination makes all the difference. It is important to choose more than 7 characters, depending on the criteria of the website accessed, and never add the user’s name, dates of birth or telephone number.

Antivirus

Activating the antivirus on electronic equipment prevents malicious programs from corrupting devices and stealing data from the Internet user. “It is essential to keep the software updated, preventing intruders from gaining access to the system”, emphasizes Lucas Cavalcanti.

Clicks

Always analyze all the interfaces of the virtual environment before clicking on received links. It is necessary to analyze the content of messages and subjects in e-mails, check for grammatical errors, pay attention to the name of senders and be careful not to be hooked by traps.

Go to a professional

Data leaks are serious, the arbitrary collection of information is not allowed by law and, if it happens, it is important to ascertain what was leaked to understand the scale of the situation. Immediately, it is necessary to register a police report and look for a trusted lawyer.

What about the Data Protection Law?

The General Data Protection Law enacted in 2018, aims to protect sensitive personal data, both online and offline, such as driver’s license, in addition to the number of telephone, e-mail, IP, among others, and will punish those who do not properly use all this information.

To adapt to the law, companies must prepare a Personal Data Protection Impact Report, which must contain, at least, a description of the types of information collected, the reason why the data was stored, what were the methods used to collecting and ensuring data security, as well as an analysis of the controller in relation to the measures. For these reasons, it is extremely important for companies to structure themselves with reliable information security systems that allow optimized business decisions.

From 2020 (when the law will came into force), companies that do not respect the legislation will have the personal data of the customers involved blocked, public disclosure of the infraction, daily fines, in addition to another monetary punishment of 2% of general profits.

Many medium and small companies still do not believe that information security policies are beneficial for the business. However, if we compare the amount spent by SMBs to repair systems that have been invaded by malware, we can see that the value ends up being much greater than investing in a reliable data security system. Information is one of the most important assets for companies and, in order to protect them properly, a security solution is needed that helps in the proper management of the information transmitted. In addition to these points, it is essential to carry out awareness actions to educate employees who deal with information.

By protecting customer data, the company will not have to worry about data leakage, and will not have to spend money on fines and repairs, which would generate a huge expense and damage its image. Companies, therefore, must see the law as something positive, which it really is.

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