What is Dark Web Monitoring
By Nancy William 8 minutes
Some of us have heard of the Dark Web, while most of us haven’t, and that’s completely alright. In short, the Dark Web is a place where you’d find links to various websites that not just any search engine can detect. It’s not used by everyone, and nor should it be. You’ll find hackers or cybercriminals who are actively trying to steal your data are most probably going to sell it to criminals over the Dark Web. But, how can you try and prevent it? There’s something called Dark web monitoring, and it’s discussed in great detail ahead!
What is Dark Web monitoring?
We’ve mentioned that the Dark Web is a hidden place on the internet where you’d find some of the best .onion links to various sources not indexed by just any search engine. To access it, you will need to use the TOR browser.
However, there are criminal and vindictive people who sell stolen user data or private information on the Dark Web, mostly because it’s anonymous and can’t be traced back to them.
If ever you’ve fallen victim to data or identity theft, the first place to look for it is on the Dark Web. That’s where dark web monitoring comes in.
Dark web monitoring is a tool that allows you to monitor and protect your information, and search out places on the Dark Web that sell stolen and traded data. Once your stolen data or information is traced to the source, you get notified.
How does Dark Web monitoring work?
If you feel like you’ve been stolen off of personal information, the best chances of finding it is on the Dark Web. This is where dark web monitoring comes into play.
When you get yourself a dark web monitoring service, the possibilities are endless, specifically when you use it with the best VPN for online protection.
Through this service, you’d be able to lookup numerous websites or sources containing stolen or personal information. To give you an idea, you’d find information like:
- Phone numbers
- Credit or debit card information
- Email addresses
- Social security numbers
- Passport details
- Membership data
- Medical reports
- Social media passwords
- Driver’s license
- Bank information
- Retail accounts and more!
The best Dark Web monitoring tools in 2023
There are currently some dark web monitoring tools available in the market, but not all are safe to use. To make things easier on you, we’ve listed some of the best services that you can consider. They are:
- DarkOwl – the best dark web monitoring service. Scan and investigate stolen data. Serves as a recovery and prevention tool. Also allows easy access to the best darknet content.
- CrowdStrike Falcon X Recon – offers the best services for scanning stolen information on the Dark Web through identifiers. Comes with a 15-day free trial.
- Experian IdentityWorks – makes one of the best Dark Web scanners. Scans for identity stolen data and runs dark web surveillance. Comes with a free trial you can use.
- Echosec Beacon – another one of the best dark web monitors that look for compromised and other kinds of personal information being sold off on the Dark Web. Offers surface, deep and dark web monitoring.
- Digital Shadows SearchLight – protection against online threats to both privacy and data. It comes with solutions and risks that are beneficial to understand.
- ACID Cyber Intelligence – conducts real-time identity protection scans and nips the threat before it can expand. It immediately alerts you as soon as a threat has been determined.
- IdentityForce – take care of your information and security by tackling the 10 biggest threats online.
- DigitalStakeout Scout – data protection, phishing scam prevention, and dark web scanner.
- Dashlane Business – best for protecting passwords for business holders with the inclusion of a dark web scanner.
- ID Watchdog – is an identity theft protection service with a dark web scanner looking for chat rooms, and other forums that sell stolen data.
- Alert Logic Dark Web Scanner – allows businesses to prevent account takeover, operating over a dark web scanner.
Other ways to protect your data from the Dark Web
Other than using dark web monitoring software, there are additional steps that you can take in order to secure and protect your data from the Dark web. Here are a few suggestions:
Use VPN software for private and secure browsing
Other than accessing deep or dark websites, there are other times where security and privacy measures are of great importance. For starters, when you connect to an unknown WiFi source or connect to the internet at the airport, the risks are high. Using a VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, is one step in the right direction. It will help secure your data, maintain anonymity, and prevent eavesdropping or data logging.
Secure and strong passwords
Make sure to password protect as many devices, social media, and banking accounts as you can. Also, keep in mind that adding a simple password is not the be-all of everything. They have to be different and the difficulty level should be high. Keeping passwords of the name of your pet, your favorite color, or your birth date is not a good idea. Plus, you could always look up some of the best password managers to help you set a strong code and save it.
Protect all your sensitive data
If you feel like you have a lot of sensitive information saved up on your device, create safe storage for it, but never just leave it lying around in unprotected folders. You could sign up for e-statement services that will help protect most of your data.
What do you do after you’ve been alerted about leaked data on the Dark Web?
If you’re already using a dark web monitoring service, and receive an alert about data theft, you should never panic. The first step towards taking action would be to change your password. Again, since you’re creating a new password, make sure it is completely new. Never use an old one, even a small bit of it, since your data was compromised through it.
The difference between the deep and dark web explained
Now since you know a lot about dark web monitoring, let’s go through some other basics – differences between the deep web and the dark web. There’s one thing for sure, it’s not the same thing, but a subdivision of the whole.
The deep web is the internet below the surface that houses content not visible to just anyone. These sites are not indexed by known search engines. The dark web is a subdivision of the deep web, and can only be accessed safely using the TOR browser.
Because the Dark web is known to be a network that is hidden, and where user privacy and anonymity are preserved, you will find that stolen data is taken there to be sold without detection, along with various other crimes. Using a dark web monitoring tool will help lower these risks and prevent them from repeating themselves.
Should you use a dark web monitoring tool often to scan for data theft?
There should not be a timing slot allotted for dark web scanning. As soon as you go on the internet or as soon as your business is published, you’re at constant risk of being exposed, hacked, or being a victim of stolen data. A dark web scanner should be run throughout to enforce the best protection and speedy detection.
How to find out if my information is on the dark web?
With a scan using one of the dark web monitoring services enlisted, you will be able to find out if your information or data has been stolen. Through that, you will be alerted about the data theft and will be asked to take active solutions accordingly.
And that’s a wrap! You now know what dark web monitoring is, how it works, and the best services that you can use! Additionally, for extra protection over the Dark Web, make sure you’re connected to the best VPN service. FastestVPN is currently one of the most affordable and secure providers in the market. Connect to any one of our servers for consistent speeds, access to numerous streaming services, and safe access to the best .onion links on the dark web!