The Dark Web

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Sounds ominous, the Dark Web.

Really it was designed to be under the radar, to be anonymous.  Yes as you can imagine, and likely have heard, that has attracted many that are nefarious.  Commonly that is all anyone knows about it.  Here are a few things to know.

The Dark Web is actually designed to be an anonymous network.  Content is put here that is intended to be hidden.  You need special software just to access it.  Think of a place that has plenty of people, plenty of places to go, but also lots of land and maybe woods that are not mapped or traveled. If the Internet as you know it is just like this town all mapped out in that handy little GPS you have on your dashboard in your car, the Dark Web is basically places that exist in that same town, but not on your map and not on the roads you travel.

There are a lot of scams and bad things, but what you generally here about it, is that things are sold like your personal information which was compromised by a company you do business with.

Another thing sold on the Dark Web is access to BOTNETS.  There are millions of home/business devices out there that are just waiting to be used for nefarious means.  You can basically get an army of devices to attempt logons to your account.  If you thought someone was just trying this from their main workstation, they have the means to brute force from lots of sources.

Don’t think your information is out there?  There have been breaches to companies Panera, Newegg, Facebook, MyHeritage, LinkedIn, eBay, Yahoo, and Target.  Chances are high another major company has not secured information about you securely enough away from the bad guys.  Often these breaches will be sold nefariously on the Dark Web purchased by those that would use your personal information for their own financial means.

Here is a perfectly safe website that asks only for your email address to be entered.  The brought all the known public information breaches into a site that will let you know where your information may have been lost.  Put your current email in here, and also try any other one you still have access to.

Hasso Plattner Institute

When you enter your email here, it will send that email address a report of all the compromises that are publicly available with that email address listed.  It goes back years, and covers millions of breaches with passwords lists that have been traded.  Worse than that, much more personal information could be listed out there along with that logon information and will certainly be attempted against every other internet site possible out there.

Even if you are lucky enough not to be on this huge compiled list of breaches, this does not cover everything and you should be referring to my other posts about password management.

Keeping Passwords Safe

My point is basically you should expect that your information has been compromised at some point, but this is not hopeless.  You should be aware of these breaches, and make sure you update your passwords to unique ones, especially after a breach has been reports.  Don’t forget to enable two factor whenever possible.  This is a secondary logon function I will certainly bring up more often.  A text to your phone, or more secure code generators are must enable options if possible.

There are some great benefits that come with your bank or credit card providers.  One good example is DISCOVER CARD.  When you logon to your account, there is a FEATURES & BENEFITS section that offers free Social Security monitoring.  Use these included features on all your accounts that have them.

I hope this sheds a little light on that dark web stuff!

 

 

 

 

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