Most people may find it nerve wracking to find their information being leaked, and even sold on the dark web by cybercriminals. Truth is, knowledge about your information showing up in an underground forum is only the first step to redeeming your data.
Constant dark web monitoring and cyber discipline have been identified as crucial tenets in personal cybersafety. Still, most people seem clueless about the steps that should be taken in case their personal information ends up on the dark web.
In fact, according to a survey by the Consumer Federation of America, most beliefs by the general population about dark web monitoring are untrue – finding leaked information on the dark web will not guarantee your safety.
What Are the Steps?
The type of information leaked on the dark web will have a significant bearing on the proper steps to be taken to recover compromised information.
In the context of leaked banking information, including credit card or bank account numbers, you must inform your card insurer or lender that your sensitive information has been published on the dark web. The idea is to let them close your account to prevent impending damage.
The Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service must be notified in case your Social Security Number (SSN) shows up on the dark web. Otherwise, in case your passwords find their way in dark web platforms, it is advisable that you change it on all accounts under your name – be sure to also change the security questions as an extra precaution.
While most people may assume that leaked email addresses on the dark web may be a harmless occurrence, experts assert that such an event may prove disastrous if the information lands in the hands of tech-savvy cybercriminals.
A threat actor may easily use your email address to orchestrate a number of attacks. They may either gain access into your email address bearing sensitive information, or go ahead to spoof your account in sending fake emails to your contacts.
The above reality is as true as the fact that a large number of people tend to use their email addresses for user verification for various website accounts. Cybersecurity experts advise that you should notify your email provider as soon as you suspect that your address is sending out spoofed emails.
In addition, be sure to change both your user IDs and passwords to online accounts in cases where your email address is being used for user verification.
The Need for More Caution
In most times, you should always be aggressive in your approach towards protecting yourself from cybercriminals – regardless of the type of information that has been posted on the dark web.
Apart from reviewing your credit report annually, it is critical for users to find other ways of staying alert to possible cyberattacks whenever their information is posted on the dark web. A very effective intervention would be to procure a credit monitoring service that would gurantee your vigilance.
Apart from monitoring your credit reports, it is also important to assess your credit accounts regularly. Credit report monitoring alone will not be effective in cases where a third party uses your current credit cards – unless if a payment is late.
Making the habit of following up on your credit card bills regularly will enable you to identify any red flags in charges whenever they arise. If your information ends up in the dark web, you may need to activate text alerts whenever your cards are used.
Otherwise, you may place a credit freeze on your credit card report to ensure that threat actors fail to create a credit card account using your personal credentials.