The Dark Web and Its Dirty Little Secrets

Have you ever had that moment where you wonder if your personal data has ever been hacked or stolen? There are obvious signs, like your social media account messaging all your friends that you just need to borrow $10,000. But what if it is not so obvious?

The dark web is a part of the internet that is hidden from the regular web browsers and search engines. It is often used for illegal or malicious purposes, such as selling stolen data or hacking services. If your company information, such as your name, email, password, or credit card number, is on the dark web, it means that someone has breached your data and is offering it to other criminals. This can expose you to identity theft, fraud, or other cyberattacks. Therefore, it is important to find out if your company information is on the dark web and take steps to protect yourself.

How to Find Out If Your Company Information Is on the Dark Web

There is no definitive way to find out if your company information is on the dark web, as it is constantly changing and expanding. However, there are some tools and methods that can help you monitor and detect if your data has been compromised. Here are some steps you can take to check if your information is on the dark web:

• Use a reputable dark web scanner. A dark web scanner is a service that scans the dark web for your personal or company information and alerts you if it finds a match. Some examples of dark web scanners are Experian, ID Agent, and Have I Been Pwned. You can use these services for free or for a fee, depending on the features and frequency of the scans. You will need to provide your email address and other information that you want to check, and the scanner will notify you if it finds any matches on the dark web. Don’t worry, they won’t judge you for using the same password for everything.

• Change your passwords regularly. One of the most common ways that hackers get access to your company information is by using your email and password that they have obtained from a previous data breach. Therefore, it is essential to change your passwords regularly and use strong and unique passwords for each account. You can use a password manager, such as LastPass or 1Password, to generate and store your passwords securely. You should also enable two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security to your login process, whenever possible. Trust us, it’s better than having to explain to your boss why you sent him a link to a shady website.

• Monitor your credit reports and bank statements. Another way to find out if your company information is on the dark web is to monitor your credit reports and bank statements for any suspicious or unauthorized activity. You can get a free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus once a year. You should also check your bank statements and credit card statements regularly and report any fraudulent charges or transactions to your bank or card issuer.

• Be wary of phishing emails and phone calls. Phishing is a technique that hackers use to trick you into giving them your personal or company information, such as your password, credit card number, or social security number. They may send you an email or call you pretending to be someone you trust, such as your boss, your colleague, your bank, or your service provider, and ask you to click on a link, open an attachment, or provide some information. You should never click on any links or attachments that you are not expecting or that look suspicious, and never give out any information over the phone or email without verifying the identity and legitimacy of the sender or caller. Remember, your boss will never ask you to send him a picture of your feet.

What to Do If Your Company Information Is on the Dark Web

If you find out that your company information is on the dark web, you should take immediate action to protect yourself and your employer. Here are some steps you should take if your data has been compromised:

• Notify your employer. You should inform your employer as soon as possible if you discover that your company information is on the dark web, as it may affect the security and reputation of the organization. Your employer may have policies and procedures in place to deal with data breaches and may be able to help you mitigate the risks and consequences. Don’t be afraid to tell them what happened, they will appreciate your honesty and cooperation. Unless you were the one who leaked the data, in which case, you’re on your own.

• Change your passwords and security questions. You should change your passwords and security questions for all your accounts, especially those that are related to your company, such as your email, intranet, cloud services, or payroll. You should also change your passwords and security questions for any personal accounts that may have been affected, such as your social media, online shopping, or streaming services. You should use strong and unique passwords and security questions for each account and avoid using any information that can be easily guessed or found online. For example, don’t use your mother’s maiden name, your pet’s name, or your favorite color as your security questions. And don’t use “password” as your password.

• Freeze your credit. You should consider freezing your credit if you suspect that your company information is on the dark web and that your identity has been stolen. Freezing your credit prevents anyone from opening new accounts or applying for loans or credit cards in your name. You can freeze your credit for free with each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) online, by phone, or by mail. You will need to provide your name, address, date of birth, social security number, and other personal information. You can also unfreeze your credit anytime you need to access your credit report or apply for credit. This will help you prevent any unwanted surprises, such as finding out that someone has opened a mortgage in your name and defaulted on it.

• Report any fraud or identity theft. You should report any fraud or identity theft that you experience or suspect as a result of your company information being on the dark web. You can report it to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, where you can also get a personalized recovery plan and access to resources and assistance. You should also report it to your local police department and obtain a copy of the police report. You may need to provide the police report and the OPCC identity theft report to your bank, credit card issuer, or other entities that are affected by the fraud or identity theft. This will help you prove that you are not responsible for any charges or debts that are not yours, and that you are not a criminal mastermind.

All of this may be overwhelming, especially if your identity has been used for malicious purposes. If you would like to get more information, or do a formal Dark Web Assessment please contact us for more details. We would be happy to walk you through it all and make your lives a bit more calm.