Don’t fear the dark web

1Password monitors known data breaches to see if your valuable information has been exposed. If so, it immediately prompts you to change the compromised password, account, or login before it’s exploited by cybercriminals prowling the dark web.

What is the dark web and how does it work?

When you think of the internet, search engines like Google, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo probably come to mind. These are the traditional gateways to search results, websites, and other information stored online. However, there’s another portion of the internet that won’t show up when you use these services – a community known as the dark web.

The dark web can be accessed through open-source, location-concealing technologies like TOR (The Onion Router) that establish an encrypted connection and allow users to visit a wide range of lesser-known websites, forums, and marketplaces without making themselves known.

Is the dark web just a place for criminals?

The anonymity of the dark web can be a positive and useful tool. Many whistleblowers, abuse victims, and political dissidents use the dark web to freely exchange information and help one another without the threat of being identified and persecuted.

However, the ability to communicate securely and anonymously also makes the dark web a magnet for hackers, scam artists, and identity thieves looking to buy, sell, and trade illicit information, goods, or services. Black markets like the now-defunct Silk Road allow people to use untraceable cryptocurrencies to buy virtually any type of illegal commodity. One of the most common transactions on the dark web involves the sale of people’s stolen personal information.

Am I at risk of having my information exposed on the dark web?

It’s possible for any business to be targeted by cybercriminals. And it’s impossible for any company to have perfect security. That’s why any website or app that stores your personal information could one day fall victim to a cyberattack, phishing scam, or data breach, exposing your sensitive information to hackers and scammers.

Here are some types of companies that cybercriminals would love to breach:

  • Credit card companies
  • Developers of social media platforms
  • Email account providers
  • Banks
  • Online retailers

What personal information can be traded on the dark web?

It’s possible that any information you’ve stored or shared online could wind up in an eventual data breach. Anything that’s leaked might then make its way to the dark web, where it can be traded and picked through by criminals. A study by GIACT found that identity-related losses increased by 42% from 2019 to 2020, highlighting the growth of the problem and the need for everyone to effectively monitor and safeguard their information. Here are some examples of the types of information that can be traded on the dark web:

  • Credit card numbers
  • Bank account numbers
  • Addresses
  • Email passwords
  • Phone numbers
  • Social security numbers

Enter 1Password

The internet is vast, and few people have the time or technical know-how to monitor every corner of every website on the dark web. However, you can use 1Password Watchtower to stay ahead of criminals trying to discover and use your personal information.

How 1Password protects you from criminals on the dark web

Data breaches are rarely designed to target any particular individual. Instead, they’re usually the result of hackers gaining access to a huge pile of credentials. Cybercriminals can feed this information into automated systems that will test whether they still work, and ultimately be used to gain access to people’s accounts. Hackers might keep this information to themselves or share it on shady corners of the internet, including the dark web.

1Password Watchtower sifts through any reported data breach to see if your information has been compromised and alerts you directly if anything comes up. That way, you can change the affected password before any cybercriminal has the chance to use it.

How 1Password keeps tabs on data breaches

Watchtower is connected to Have I Been Pwned (HIBP), a comprehensive tool that catalogs data breaches and keeps tabs on what’s been exposed. If your information shows up on the HIBP database, Watchtower will immediately alert you about the breach. You can then use 1Password to generate a new, strong password that will render the old one useless to criminals, and ensure the account is well protected against trial-and-error brute force and dictionary attacks.

Try 1Password for free today and see how easy it is to monitor data breaches, get alerts if you’ve been compromised, and protect your accounts from criminals on the dark web.