(2023) Is My Info on the Dark Web? Here’s How to Find Out & Get Protected

As we enjoy the convenience of the Internet, we may not consider how our online activities can make personal information vulnerable to cybercriminals on the Dark Web. The good news is, you can check if your information is on the Dark Web, and take measures to protect your sensitive data with extensive Dark Web monitoring.

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The Dark Web is a section of the Internet that is not indexed by search engines and can only be accessed using special software, such as Tor. It is often associated with illegal activities, such as the sale of drugs, weapons, and stolen credit card information.

If your personal information, such as your name, SSN, and credit card numbers, is obtained by someone on the Dark Web, they can use it to commit identity theft or fraud. For example, they may open a credit card in your name, make purchases, and not pay the bill, leaving you with the debt and a damaged credit score. Additionally, they may use your personal information to open bank accounts, apply for loans, or file taxes in your name.

How to find out if my info is on the Dark Web?

It’s important to be aware of whether your personal information is floating around on the Dark Web, as it can be used for identity theft or fraud. One way to check if your information has been compromised is to use a Dark Web scanner, such as Aura.

Here is how to run a Dark Web scan with Aura:

  1. Go to Aura Free Scan page.
  2. Enter your email address and click View Results.
  3. Aura will scan your email address with the compromised credential databases.

If your personal info was found on the Dark Web, it’s important to take immediate action to protect your identity. Start by changing your password on any accounts that use that email address. If you see any credit card information associated with your email address, contact your bank or credit card issuer immediately to report the breach. Additionally, you can also put a fraud alert on your credit report to protect yourself from identity theft.

What are the best Dark Web monitoring tools?

The method above allows you to conduct a Dark Web scan for free. But this is just a one-time search. For maximum protection, you’ll need a Dark Web monitoring tool to do all the work automatically and constantly.

Dark Web monitoring is a helpful service that can scan the Dark Web continuously (24/7) to protect your personal data. When your personal information is put at risk, you’ll get immediate alerts so that you can take the necessary steps to protect your identity.

Also, if your information is detected on a dark web scan, this kind of service can help protect against identity fraud. They usually combines credit monitoring, Dark Web scanning, identity theft monitoring, and more to safeguard you from cybercriminals before the damage is done as well as restore your identity if the worst should happen.

We’ve reviewed a lot of dark web monitoring & identity protection services, and IdentityIQ and Aura are definitely the best ones in the industry.

1. Aura

Aura is an award-winning identity & fraud protection solution with a powerful Dark Web monitoring service. It keeps a close eye on the Dark Web. It isn’t just looking PII like your SSN and birthdate. It’s also scanning constantly for information about your bank accounts, credit cards, and property titles. And it searches for data breaches from companies you do business with. It provides near-real time notification so you can respond immediately to any problems. 

As an one-stop digital security protection solution, Aura offers three distinct levels of protection: identity, financial, and device protection. All Aura plans come with $1,000,000 identity theft insurance, fast alerts to potentially suspicious activity, and top-rated customer support. What’s more, Aura offer preventive tools such as antivirus software, a password manager and a secure VPN, to prevent your data from getting on the Dark Web in the first place.

2. IdentityIQ

IdentityIQ’s Dark Web monitoring scans the Dark Web for information related to your identity. Through its global search, IdentityIQ scours the Dark Web for your SSN, name, mailing address, and other information you designate in over 25 languages. The service constantly checks forums, chat rooms, underground communities, private databases, as well as black market sites on the Dark Web to search for signs of your personal information being fraudulently used. If anything suspicious is found, you’ll receive notifications immediately.

IdentityIQ is capable of more than that. It’s a comprehensive digital security solution — a collection of tools that protect your devices from all kinds of online threats. It offers a range of features like antivirus, password manager, secure VPN and scam & phishing websites detection. This way, your information and online privacy will be protected against hacking and data breaches.

All-in-one protection provided by IdentityIQ

How does your personal info end up on the Dark Web?

Massive data breaches are responsible for the most stolen information that ends up on the Dark Web. Well-organized cybercriminals hack into big companies and institutions to steal names, dates of birth, phone numbers, addresses, social security number (SSN), credit card numbers, email accounts, online account login credentials and more.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, more than 1.5 billion personal records have been exposed in data breaches. A single data breach can expose hundreds of millions of credit card numbers to hackers on the Dark Web, and leave people vulnerable to identity theft. 

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Aside from data breaches, sensitive data can be stolen and sold on the Dark Web if you are:

  • Using unsecured public WiFi networks (Man In the Middle Attack; rogue hotspots)
  • Using simple and easily guessable passwords
  • Sharing information by clicking on phishing links or responding to phishing emails/texts
  • Being infected by different kinds of hacking software (keylogger, spyware apps and trojans, etc.) which steals your sensitive information from your devices.

6 Tips to prevent your data from getting on the Dark Web

There are several ways to protect yourself from the threats posed by data breaches and the Dark Web.

  1. Use a strong password. That means your passwords should have 12+ characters and contain numbers, letters, and special characters. Also, don’t use the same password across accounts. This way, if your password is stolen, only one of your accounts will be compromised. A password manager is recommended to automatically generate and save strong passwords for each website.
  2. Turn on 2-factor authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of security. Many online accounts offer 2-factor authentication, for example: Google 2-Step Verification, Facebook Two-Factor Authentication, Instagram Two-Factor Authentication.
  3. Employ a reliable antivirus software to automatically detect malware, viruses, keyloggers, phishing websites & other online threats for you.
  4. Watch for fraud emails and texts, and avoid clicking on suspicious links.
  5. Only use public WiFi for general browsing. If you need to log into websites that require your login credentials, don’t forget to use a VPN which encrypts your data and hides your IP address.
  6. Sign up for an all-in-one identity & digital security protection service like IdentityIQ, McAfee or IdentityForce.

Hope this article helped you. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

By Jocelyn Sun

Jocelyn is a writer for Super Easy, who has a great passion for computers, technology and linguistics. She enjoys searching for useful information and writing tutorials to help people solve their problems. Before coming on board with Super Easy, Jocelyn worked as a translator (Chinese-English-French) and editor for a high profile news agency and as a translator for an import/export company. She’s also worked in content maintenance for one of the world’s biggest universities, and as a French teacher.When she's not writing, she's obsessed with music, podcasts and DIY projects.

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