The Dark Web and Identity Theft

black hooded computer screen face

The Dark Web is composed of peer-to-peer networks and websites that sit on top of a series of dark networks, that the regular internet user is not supposed to see. It can only be accessed using anonymous browsers and networks, and usually people use the dark web to buy or sell something. The dark web is home to everyday cyber criminal activity. It involves the buying and selling of illegal drugs, physical weapons, counterfeit currency and stolen credit cards.

In the cyber criminal world, success is dependent on a good reputation. As a result, cyber criminals provide incentives for repeat customers such as badges and discounts to keep them coming back.

Credit card information is one of the most valuable items on the dark web market. Credit card information could go for anywhere between $10 and $200. Within that range, one could purchase an account number and many or all of its other identifiers such as cardholder name, mailing address, email address, PIN code, password and CCV code. The determinant of the price is how much information surrounding a single account is available, and how easy it is to re-sell the stolen goods. For example, on the dark web, an account tied to an electronics store, would provide more money per card than a luxury retailer. This is because it is easier and faster to sell a stolen electronic such as an iPhone in comparison to a stolen designer handbag.

It is incredibly painful and difficult to re-build a credible identity after being a victim of identity theft. Here are a few ways to keep your credit card information protected from the dark web:

  • Signing up for credit monitoring with credit card companies, is a great way to keep on top of your credit card activity. It increases awareness of any fraud or identity theft that might occur with your information. With the credit monitoring services offered, you can see if someone has tried to open a new account in your name, or went on a spending spree using an existing one.
  •  Be sure to check your bank and credit card statements every month and take extra caution to make sure all charges are yours.
  •  It is important to stop saving your credit card information on websites. It is easy for cyber criminals to obtain credit card information from online stores; including the ones that might seem secure.
  • Avoid making credit card purchases on public WiFi.  Public WiFi is usually unsafe and the weakness in its security can be exploited by cyber criminals.
  • Finally, it is important to keep strong password practices. Do not use simple passwords or the same password for multiple accounts.

BSC Solutions Group offers Cyber Security Solutions for organizations to help protect all types of data.  Contact us today to learn more. 

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