What is the Dark Web?

When you read the phrase “The Dark Web” what do you picture?

Is it a sinister place where criminals run rampant?

A haven for anarchists, ne’er-do-wells, and other unsavoury types?

Or a bastion of free speech in a world where many worry about censorship?

Depending on who you ask, it might be described as any of the above, and more.

If you’ve been the victim of a data breach, your personal information may be there, waiting for someone to come along and pay the right price to steal your identity.

You might think it’s something you don’t have to worry about, but are you as good at analyzing risk as you think you are?

Let’s dig into the dark web to learn more.

What Is The Dark Web?

The Dark Web is the part of the internet that cannot be found through a typical “Google” search.

It requires the use of a special browser such as Tor which keeps you (relatively) anonymous.

As a result, it presents a particular challenge for law enforcement.

On the dark web, you can find a wide range of illegal activity, including trafficking in stolen goods, illicit substances or weapons, murder for hire, and other things far too horrible to be mentioned here.

Benefits Of Using The Dark Web?

When many people think of the dark web, they think of an epicentre of criminal activity with little reason for a law-abiding citizen to ever venture there.

While this is often the case, not all activity on the Dark Web is illegal.

In countries where internet access is controlled and monitored by the government, the Dark Web can help people to communicate without fear of repercussions.

Those concerned with their personal privacy on the internet can find lots of tips and tricks to incorporate into their lives.

And it can be a safe place for whistleblowers to share information – some mainstream media organizations even monitor these dark web whistleblower sites, including a version of Wikileaks.

Even law enforcement can find benefit from monitoring the dark web as part of a larger threat analysis and situational awareness strategy.

Accessing The Dark Web

Accessing the dark web is not as hard as one might imagine.

You don’t need a secret code-word or to have a special contact to be let in – you just need the right software.

The most popular is Tor but Freenet and I2P may also be used.

Just be prepared to deal with slow and unpredictable performance.

Tor uses special encryption – so when a message is sent over the network each computer in the network only receives the information of where it came from, and where it is going next thus ensuring anonymity.

Because the signal is bouncing around through many different volunteers’ computers and not a set network, the speed can be slow and bottlenecks often happen.

The naming structure of Dark Web site URLs typically are scrambled to make them near-impossible to remember and end in .onion which designates a hidden, anonymous network that can’t be accessed through regular browsers.

Of course, if the content of the message contains identifying information (such as an email address) it becomes less anonymous.

Illegal Activity On The Dark Web

Do you wonder what happens to information after data companies like Equifax, Uber or Facebook are breached?

What’s the goal behind taking the risk to steal all this data?

In many cases it ends up on the dark web, for sale to the highest bidder.

Everything from login details for underused Netflix accounts to bank and credit card accounts giving access to thousands of dollars in funds can be found for those willing to pay the price.

If you go searching and happen to find your own information on the Dark Web, there may not be much you can do to remove it, but by knowing it’s there you can take steps to protect yourself.

Of course, a data breach may not seem like a big deal compared to some of the other uses of the dark web we talked about earlier.

But if you’re the one whose information is breached, credit cards and ID stolen, it can be devastating.

And if your company suffered a data breach due to negligent IT security practices and are as a result directly responsible for perhaps thousands of people losing their data, it can be exponentially worse.

Contact 1st Secure IT

Are you worried that your personal or company information may have appeared on the Dark Web after a security breach?

Or are you worried that employees may be using company resources to access this illicit corner of the internet?

Even worse – has your company suffered a data breach, and that information is being bought and sold across the Dark Web?

If so, 1st Secure IT can help.

Call us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable IT security consultants.

We can help you find the weak points in your IT security infrastructure to avoid a data breach or catastrophic leak from occurring.

We’ll help you avoid becoming just another statistic, just another company who, through its own negligence, caused millions of dollars in damage as their customers scramble to contain the damage to their lives.

Contact 1st Secure IT today, and keep your business and your customers safe and secure in an uncertain digital world.

1st Secure IT

4613 N. University Drive #323
Coral Springs Florida
(866) 735-3369

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Monday, 19 August 2019

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