The term “internet security” is really an oxymoron. There’s very little information that is 100% secure that is on the internet. This includes your personal information. You may have strong passwords, change them often, store them securely, remove your info from apps, and never click on a link in a suspicious email, cyber criminals are already 5 steps ahead in plotting to fool you. The Dark Web, a broader network for what had been a singular “Silk Road,” is making anonymous transactions of information easier for criminals. Here is what you need to know.
What is the Dark Web?
The Dark Web is exactly what it sounds like, an encrypted network of websites that are hidden from the average internet user. Most people immediately associate this with anonymous transactions of illegal things, such as drugs, guns, pornography, information for hacking, and conspiracies. However, it is also used by populations that are in countries under strict government control where freedom of speech and strong media regulations restrict people from obtaining every day news.
You cannot access the Dark Web via regular internet. For instance, you won’t be able to Google “take me to the Dark Web” (don’t do it!). Google, along with other search engines, do not index Dark Web content.
Dangers of the Dark Web
While it is not illegal to visit the Dark Web, the majority of the content that’s available is illegal and inappropriate. It’s best to not even associate yourself with that kind of information and those types of web pages.
One of the most infamous Dark Web cases is the Silk Road. Ross Ubricht, a glorified drug dealer used the Dark Web and Bitcoins to sell recreational drugs for years. In 2013, law enforcement finally shut down the online marketplace. Another example was the Ashley Madison hack, 36 million names were released on the Dark Web, exposing those who used the cheating service.
There are no “minor” dangers.
It may not be drugs, child pornography, guns, or gruesome videos that criminals are looking for on the Dark Web. Other information that these criminals are selling are account usernames and passwords. That’s right. People are trading and selling login information of bank accounts, email addresses, and remote access to computers to hack into their accounts.
What Can You Do?
By keeping your information secure, you can help reduce the risk of criminals gathering and selling your account information. Here are some additional articles:
- Set up two-factor authentication (2FA) for your sensitive accounts, including your email.
- Prevent identity theft with these tips.
- Be careful where and how you access the internet.
If you are concerned about whether or not your information has already been compromised, there are tools available. Give us a call to learn more at (410) 997-2500.
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