The internet is a tremendously vast place. Websites exist for just about anything you can think of, including illegal activities like identity theft. But you won’t find those kinds of websites on a standard “.com” site. They exist in the Dark Web. There are three different kinds of places online: the web, the Deep Web, and the Dark Web. Each one serves a different purpose and requires different technical skills to access.
The regular web, or surface web, is the place that most people access. You visit websites with an address and gain access to the information and services they provide. The Deep Web is, technically speaking, part of the regular web. In general terms, the deep web consists of websites or webpages that are not indexed by international search engines or commonly linked to by other websites.
The Dark Web is an entirely different monster. This is a name to refer to websites that require special software or technology to access beyond that of a normal website. They use anonymity protocols to ensure that they cannot be found. This makes it a prime location of illegal activity, such as money laundering, drug sale, and identity theft.
How Dark Web Users Sell Your Identity
There are dozens of ways someone can steal your information, whether it’s your bank login, credit card details, or social security number. This can be stolen from you through dangerous websites, computer viruses, or by hacking the servers of place that you frequent.
Once they have your information, they don’t use it, but they sell it online. People will market another person’s private information to others through the Dark Web. One report found that a batch of 1,000 Gmail accounts went for $200. When someone buys it, they can use it to make purchases, transfer money, or open bank loans in your name.
How To Protect Yourself
With the right effort, you can keep yourself safe from people who want to sell your info on the Dark Web. The best example is through your passwords. While it might be easy to remember, you shouldn’t have one password for everything. That way, if a hacker finds out your Facebook password, they won’t have access to your email and bank login as well.
Secondly, do not share your password with a person or website you do not trust and NEVER share your password in anything other than a trustworthy platform. Many security professionals recommend never typing your password at all, but using voice or in-person interaction to tell someone when you have to.
Should you suffer from a data breach you should change your password immediately, contact the support center for the service compromised. If money was stolen, contact the police with an identity theft report. These individuals will be able to help you recover any lost goods and establish security again.