Since the beginning of the information era, data has increased in value. It’s put to work to enhance making decisions, propel new developments, and to serve users better. On the other hand, because of the proliferation of the dark web, there is a growing sense of unease over the value of personal data and how it could be misused.
You won’t be able to use a regular web browser to access the dark web as it is not compatible. Due to its anonymous nature, the dark web is frequently used as a market for transacting with illegal goods that also include stolen info.
Where does your information stand in terms of value on the dark web?
ExpressVPN highlights that the answer is more complex than it may seem since the data’s value depends on a variety of factors, including the type of data, the quality of the data, and the demand for the data.
Information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and passwords are sold frequently on the dark web. Personal identifying information (PII) is any information that can be used to identify, contact, or locate a single person. Credit card numbers, bank account info, and PayPal passwords are examples of personally identifiable financial data that can be exploited fraudulently. Usernames and passwords, which are used to gain access to a computer system, are likewise highly sought after.
The usefulness of personally identifiable information (PII) data is conditional on its fullness and precision. For instance, on the underground market, a full dossier of personally identifiable information (name, address, SSN, and birthday) might fetch as much as $30. On the other hand, data missing key information is worth much less and might only fetch a dollar.
Data that can be used to access someone’s money is more valuable than their personal details. On the dark web, a single credit card number can fetch up to $20. On the other hand, a full database of financial data that includes card numbers, bank and login details, can fetch hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Passwords are also highly sought after, especially for widely used services like social networking, email, and online markets. On the underground market, user credentials for a prominent website might fetch as much as $50.
The need for information is another factor in determining data’s worth. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare data like medical records, PHI, and COVID-19 test results were in high demand. The need for financial documents like W-2s and tax returns increases around this time of year. Data quality is a major consideration in the dark web’s market value. High-quality information is more appealing to purchasers since it is reliable, comprehensive, and current. However, low-quality data is typically incorrect, partial, or out-of-date, reducing its usefulness.
What steps can you take to prevent your private information from being traded on the dark web?
Strong Passwords – First, you need to keep a close eye on what you are doing when you are online. Always use a complex password, never open emails from unknown senders, and turn on two-factor authentication if available. Monitor your bank statements regularly, and report any unusual activity immediately.
Never give out personal information – You should also take precautions by disclosing as little personal information as possible online. Be careful about what you share on social media, and never give out personal information like your SSN or date of birth. You should use a virtual private network (VPN) whenever you are online to avoid having your online activity tracked.
Maintain regular account monitoring – Regular monitoring of your financial accounts will help you spot any suspicious activity and take appropriate action. Contact the appropriate authorities immediately if you see any unusual activity on your bank or credit card statements. At least once a year, check your credit report to ensure no one has opened accounts or taken out loans in your name without your knowledge.
Understand the potential hazards and repercussions of data breaches. Victim should immediately change their passwords, contact their financial institutions, watch their credit report, file a police report, and consider using identity theft protection services.
In conclusion, private data will fetch a higher price on the dark web, based on its format, demand and quality. So to keep your data safe, you must always keep an eye on strange behavior in your accounts and be careful with what personal details you reveal online. Taking these precautions can reduce your vulnerability to cybercrime and the likelihood that your personal information will end up on the dark web for sale.