How to protect your data from getting into the Dark Web?

How to protect your data from getting into the Dark Web?

The number of services to protect your cybersecurity has become so large that you might wonder which ones actually work and which ones are just a waste of money. Here are some simple rules about online safety.

According to the cybersecurity company Proton, the number of data breaches in the US alone nearly doubled from 1,802 in 2022 to 3,205 in 2023, culminating in a global data breach of 26 billion records in early 2024, dubbed the "Mother of All Data Breaches." The theft of user data is becoming more frequent, in part due to the fact that cybercriminals feel free to use the Dark Web from which to attack accounts. 

The term Dark Web quite well expresses its nature, since it is that part of the Internet that is deliberately hidden from regular search engines and allows you to act anonymously, and to access which you need special knowledge and special professional tools and networks. Invulnerability and anonymity of the Dark Web allow criminals and scammers to place illegal trading platforms and databases with stolen user information, including passwords, financial data, behavioral habits, etc. Hacking viruses have become a widespread business in the depths of the Internet. Mystic StealerBunnyLoader and other malicious programs distributed under the MaaS ("malware as a service") scheme and designed to steal user information became hits on Dark Web marketplaces last year.

Is it possible to prevent your data from getting into the Dark Web?

If any of your data got into the dark web due to a leak of any service to which you subscribed, then you can only protect yourself by promptly changing your password. Therefore, it is important not to use the same password on different sites and to update your passwords periodically

Do I really need special programs to protect my data?

There are a huge number of online security products and services on the market, which are often promoted to us as a "must have" solution to data loss. However, for most users, practicing a simple minimum of digital "hygiene" is enough to protect against hacking. These are the following:

  • Make sure to have the latest version of the operating system on your computer or mobile device.
  • Use different passwords for different accounts and services.
  • Protect all your accounts with two-factor authentication.

Do VPNs protect against Dark Web?

Using VPN services while you surf the Internet is considered a basic precaution against intrusion into a user's privacy and confidentiality, but the irony of the situation is that a huge number of attacks on users occur precisely while they are navigating the Internet with VPN. That is why it is important to choose a VPN service that would really help you and not harm you.

What are the criteria for a reliable VPN? First of all, it has strong encryption, a no-logs policy and simultaneous support for multiple of your devices, which will allow you to be confident that all your data traffic is securely protected. We also recommend that you look for a VPN that offers 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and an instant disconnect feature if the VPN connection is lost.

Is Dark Web monitoring worth it?

Every year more and more diverse Dark Web monitoring services appear. These tools detect breaches of your accounts and some of them can even tell you the details of the hack, such as the leak of your password, your address, etc. How do they work? They continuously scan the Dark Web for data leaks and also analyze information from third-party sites and services associated with your email address whenever they detect a leak or hack.

However, it is important to understand that none of the Dark Web monitoring services can guarantee access into all corners and parts of this extensive and well-hidden dark side of the Internet. Therefore, your own measures of minimal protection for your accounts and mainly two-factor identification are the main condition for your security when working on the Internet.