The dark web is an ominous term for the mysterious online marketplace that thrives thanks to illegal activity. In this underground industry, a wide variety of deals are made – but the most coveted of all is stolen data. As this Verdict article explains, “beyond physical goods, criminals have got their sights set on anything that can be traded for profit — so data theft is on the rise from login details, credit card information, identifiable employee information to intellectual property and beyond.” The piece specifically points out the popularity of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), an easily accessible platform which opens open cybercrime to even those who lack computing skills.
Although, not all of the activity that happens on The dark web is illegal. For example, news organizations such as the New York Times and BBC, as well as the social media network Facebook, all have a legitimate presence there. How can a reputable company exist on this scary platform? The dark web lets these kinds of publications reach audiences in countries that are restricted by censorship. It’s also useful for whistleblowers, investigative journalists and citizens in suppressed nations so they can express themselves freely.
With that said, the dark web is still a major destination for the crime. To supply the flourishing demand, hackers, fraudsters and other online criminals pose a daily threat to your personal information. Whether you use a computer, tablet or smartphone (or all three), each of these devices holds sensitive data that can be exploited. Luckily, there are various methods to protect yourself and restrict the access to your personal identifying information.
One sure-fire way to shield your device from attacks is to install anti-malware software. Malware is an umbrella term that refers to any kind of nasty software created by hackers to disrupt your device and steal your information. Some examples include spyware, ransomware, viruses, phishing and Trojan Horses. Once your data is obtained through the activity of malware, the attackers can use it themselves to commit crimes such as theft or sell it on the dark web.
Anti-malware will help prevent this from happening and scrub your device to get rid of any current threats. For example, this service by Malwarebytes cleans your PC in a few minutes. Be sure to go with a reputable company that has good reviews and a comprehensive software.
Consider a VPN Service
For a well-rounded defense against cybercrime, anti-malware software can work in tandem with a VPN service. A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, creates an encrypted connection for the user no matter where they are. So, if you connect to your devices remotely, while on the road or even just around your own city, a VPN can help you maintain privacy while hooked up to an unsecured public network. With a VPN in use, it’s very difficult for criminals to gain access to your device.
The dark web is a marketplace for personal data to be sold and traded. But armed with comprehensive protection, you’re much better protected against this happening to you.