What is the dark web?
The dark web is a part of the internet that isn’t indexed by search engines. This means that the dark web is largely ‘hidden’ as it cannot be accessed in a straightforward manner by regular internet users. A large part of the dark web is used for illegal or criminal activities – for instance, one can buy stolen credit card numbers, all manner of drugs, guns, counterfeit money, stolen subscription credentials, hacked video streaming site accounts and software that can help them break into other people’s computers.
Due to the nature of content available on the dark web, you can be at risk if your personal identifiable information is stolen and ends up there. For instance, the dark web contains a lot of information that is highly illegal, including stolen information for sale, banned content and more. If your information appears on the dark web, it could be detrimental to you in many ways as you wouldn’t know who ends up getting hold of your data and what they’re going to use it for.
What is identity theft?
Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s information in a way that involves fraud or deception, usually to the victim’s disadvantage. Personal data that is highly susceptible to being stolen include credit and debit card numbers, as well as information regarding bank accounts, insurance policies and medical records.
What happens if my personal information gets stolen?
Thieves often use stolen credit or debit card information to make purchases, especially online. They can call a bank and pretend to be the owner of a credit card – then cancel the credit card of a victim citing various reasons, request a new card to be routed to an address where the thief can receive it, and subsequently go on shopping sprees.
In more serious cases, identity theft may be used to facilitate or fund other crimes including terrorism, illegal immigration and phishing. With sufficient stolen information, thieves can steal tax returns, pretend to be someone else if arrested, or exhaust the victim’s medical insurance coverage (medical identity theft).
What are the signs that my identity may have been stolen?
Some warning signs that you may be a victim of identity theft:
- You’ve been expecting a new credit or debit card to arrive in the mail but it’s way overdue
- You notice purchases you didn’t make when you check your credit card statements
- Important letters, packages or mail you’ve been expecting has consistently gone missing
- You’ve received a litigation notice or court document for something you’ve not done
How can CTOS SecureID protect me from the dark web?
CTOS SecureID’s data breach and dark web monitoring feature scans the dark web for information that you have provided consensually. If your information turns up on the dark web, the system will pick that up and send you an alert or notification. Then, you’ll be able to take action to protect yourself, such as changing your passwords or shutting down certain accounts.