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Protect Yourself With A Dark Web Scan

There is more information than ever being hosted online. And that means that more of your own information is at risk of being stolen and sold.

Where can your information end up if it’s stolen? One common place is the dark web. This is a network of hidden sites that criminals can use to sell stolen information. Once your information reaches the dark web, it can be sold to multiple anonymous who could steal your identity and take control of your financial accounts.

Dark Web Scan

Staying Safe Online

To keep your information safe, you should consider a dark web scan service. They will monitor the dark web for signs of your information. If it's found, you are alerted, so you can begin to take the steps to protect your identity and financial accounts.

But before we show you how to protect yourself, we'll walk you through what you need to know about the dark web. We'll also show you how you can combine a dark web scan with our people lookup searches to find out everything you need to know about how your information is being used online.

What Exactly Is The Dark Web?

You might hear the term "dark web" thrown around a lot in jokes and casual conversation. You probably associate it with drug dealing and other criminal activity, as well as anonymous web browsing. But what is the dark web, and why does it have anything to do with you and your information? Here are some of the basics on the dark web, and how it differs from other parts of the internet you are probably more familiar with.

The Internet Is An Onion

The internet features a few different ''layers' depending on who can access the information of a site. There are three major ones: the public web, the deep web, and the dark web.

The Public Web

The first is the information that you'll find with a standard web search, such as one done through Google. This will lead you to news sites, shopping sites, and most blogs. This is where most web users spend the bulk of their time, and nearly every major website (or at least part of the website) will be found here. Additionally, your activity is being tracked and linked to an IP address that reveals your physical location.

However, although most of the sites you probably associate with the internet are found on the public web, it actually only makes up a small portion of the whole internet.

The Deep Web

There is also information that you'll find outside of what is publicly available. A large portion of the internet is the ''deep web.' Although this description may make it sound like something in a spy novel, the deep web is actually a pretty tame place, and is something you probably use every day.

Most of the sites here are just those that won't show up on search engines, not the center of a global criminal network. These can be databases that aren't publicly accessible, companies websites that are used by employees, or school websites that can only be navigated by teachers and students. The deep web makes up about 90% of the internet.

The Dark Web

Now we've reached the deepest layer of the internet. Unlike the deep web, the dark web is a hotbed of criminal activity and is the location where a good deal of illegal transactions take place. It is a network of hidden websites that allow users to hide their identity and location, which is why it's so beloved by criminals.

So what's the difference between a dark web site and one that you would find on Google? When you go to sites through a search engine, IP addresses keep track of your activity. This means that there is a record of who is doing what, and the user's physical location can be tracked. Your information is being communicated to servers the whole time you are using the public web.

But on the dark web, you visit a site anonymously, and without a record of your location. How is this done? You reach the site through multiple encrypted connections, so that you can't be traced back to an IP address. When you are on the dark web, your data is not being communicated with an outside server, meaning there isn't a record of your activity that can be seen by internet service providers and the authorities. Although it is possible to sometimes track people on the dark web, it can be quite difficult and time consuming.

How Do You Access The Dark Web

Although the dark web is home to a great deal of criminal activity, it's not that hard to access, and can be done by just about anyone in a few quick steps. All it takes is access to type of routing servers called "Tor" servers. With this server, all of your activity stays internal, instead of being shared with outside servers, like it would be if you were just searching things on Google. This keeps your activity private, and makes it hard to pin you to a physical location.

What Does The Dark Web Have To Do With Me?

You might think that you have nothing to do with the dark web. After all, maybe you only use the internet to check your email, go on social media, and shop for things on websites such as Amazon. And that would make you like a lot of users out there.

Unfortunately, just because you yourself have nothing to do with the dark web, doesn't mean the dark web has nothing to do with you. That is, your information could still end up on the dark web, even if you are not accessing it directly. That means you don't need to be doing anything illegal for your information to be at risk.

If your information is stolen in a data breach, it might end up being sold to someone on the dark web. Often, the person who ends up using the information is not the person who initially stole it. Once it hits the dark web, it can be sold multiple times to various anonymous users.

Who's Using My Information On The Dark Web, And How Do I Identify Them?

The problem with the dark web is that it can be almost impossible to track down the people that are using your information, even if you know that your data is being sold on the dark web. That is because every transaction occurs anonymously, using IP addresses that are not the same as the criminal's physical location.

Once the information has been stolen, it is often hosted on a database on the dark web. Here, it is sold to people looking to make money from stolen data. Often, information is sold as a bundle, which can include medical records, social security numbers, names, and account numbers. It is often resold multiple times to various anonymous dark web users, making it hard to track down those misusing your information.

That's why it's important to know what your information is being used for. You may think that it is perfectly safe, only to find that your identity has been stolen. Information can also sit on the dark web for a long time before it is used to steal someone's identity. Therefore, just because you see no other signs of identity theft doesn't mean that your information isn't on the dark web.

Keeping Your Information Safe When You're Online

So what can you do to stay safe on the internet? It can be difficult to protect your information when you go online. Even if you are using the latest security software, hackers are always developing new ways of finding and exploiting information. That's why it's important that you always take multiple steps to ensure that your information is not at risk of being exposed to hackers.

The Steps You Can Take To Protect Your Information Online

Here are some basic steps that you can take to keep yourself safe:

  • Always have strong passwords that are a mix of capitals, special characters, and numbers. Don't use the names of your loved ones, your job, your city, or birth dates. The best passwords tend to be the most random
  • Know where your passwords are stored. If you have a file on your computer where you write down all of your passwords, you could be at risk, no matter how strong your passwords are. Systems such as Google Chrome's integrated password saver are safer than an unprotected file. The best system is to know your passwords by memory, but if you are going to store them, make sure it's with a secure service with a good reputation
  • Change your passwords frequently, even if they are strong. This may seem like a hassle, but it is a great way of staying ahead of hackers that will look to break into your accounts
  • Always make sure that you are checking your credit report frequently to see if there is any unusual activity. If you see new accounts that you know you didn't create, your information could be compromised. Take action quickly and alert your financial institutions
  • Consider a service that will monitor the internet for signs of identity theft. These services will charge a fee, but they are a great way of making sure that your information is not being misused
  • If you do see suspicious activity, it's important that you respond immediately.
    • Add a fraud alert to your credit report. What this means is that anyone who tries to open a line of credit under you name will have to provide additional identification
    • File an identity theft report right away with the police department
    • It's also important that you notify your bank and all credit card companies, so that they can flag any suspicious activity and freeze any accounts that may have been compromised
  • Use a dark web scanning service, such as Experian, to see if your information is being hosted on the dark web. If it is, you can take appropriate action to protect your identity and accounts

What Is A Dark Web Scan?

There are a variety of different services out there that will offer to scan the dark web for your information and alert you if anything is found. But what does this involve?

Some services, such as Experian, will offer you a free one-time dark web scan that searches the the dark web. The scan is exactly what it sounds like. They monitor the dark web for your information, and alert you if it is found.

Not all dark web scans offer the same features. That's because they don't all scan for the same information. Experian's free option only scans the dark web for your email address. Other information, such as your name, social security number, account numbers, passport number, and medical records is not scanned for. This means that your information could still be compromised, even if the dark web scan doesn't find anything.

Which Service Should You Use For Dark Web Monitoring?

Experian, discussed above, is one of the leaders when it comes to online identity protection. They'll offer you full dark web monitoring for an affordable monthly fee. This service will alert you if any one is using your information, will help you lock down your credit lines, and provides insurance for money that you lose from online theft.

LifeLock is another company that provides dark web monitoring. For a the same monthly fee as charged by Experian, you get full dark web monitoring, insurance for money that is stolen, and credit report monitoring to check for signs of fraud and protect your credit lines.

How do Experian and LifeLock differ? Both services offer essentially the same range of protections with their full dark web monitoring, and are great choices. But if you only want a one-time scan, and you want it for free, then you should opt for Experian, as LifeLock only has a paid membership.

If you want the full membership, then visit both websites, and see which service you prefer. Both are reputable companies with excellent customer support.

Do Dark Web Scans Work?

The dark web is notoriously difficult to monitor. That's why criminals use it. This can lead you to wonder if the services that claim to scan the dark web are actually effective.

It is difficult to know for sure if a dark web scan is effective.

The dark web is always changing, and so there's a chance a scan will not catch everything. However, a scan does not need to cover every corner of the dark web to be worth your time.

Even if you are covering only a portion of the dark web, you'll be more likely to discover if your information is being misused. And keep in mind that if your information has been stolen, it will often be seen on multiple different sites on the dark web. That means a scan can still find it, even if it does not cover all of the dark web.

Should You Trust A Dark Web Scan Service?

In order for the dark web scan services to effectively keep your information safe, they will need a lot of personal information. Any data that you want protected will have to be provided to the service. That means your Social Security number, passport number, name, and other information.

There is always a small risk every time you hand out personal information. But you have to weigh this risk against the added protection you will get from having dark web monitoring. In most cases, the small risk of giving the company your information will be worth it for the security of knowing that someone is monitoring how your information is being used online.

Use Our Comprehensive People Lookup Searches To Keep Track Of Your Information Online

If you are active on the internet, it's always important to keep tabs on how your information is being used. Doing a dark web scan is just one of the many different ways that you can protect yourself online.

Our people searches not only help you find information about other people, but can also be used to look up your own information, so that you can see if your identity is being used by someone else. If you use our search and find information that you know does not match you, then you can take action to protect your identity.

The process is simple. All you need is a name, and our search can find you all the information you need. Addresses, assets, contact information, and associates. We search through millions of public records to find you all of the information you need.

Protecting Yourself With A Dark Web Scan

A dark web scan is a quick and relatively cheap way of making sure that your information is safe. Along with our people lookup searches, a dark web scan is one of the most effective ways of protecting yourself online, and should be in every web user's defensive arsenal.

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