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The Secrets of Dark Web Monitoring: Protecting Your Digital Footprint

You probably have heard of the Dark Web and how it’s almost impenetrable. Authorities take considerable time to understand and address the questionable activities occurring there.

The entirety of it isn't necessarily illegal. You can visit the Dark Web, as long as you stay away from sites that promote activities you don’t want to be associated with. Some people just need some privacy, though. That’s why they’re right there, going deeper than they could ever do on the Surface Web or Clearnet.

So, how can we be talking about Dark Web monitoring when just understanding how to go from one website to another on that particular Internet layer seems like a challenge? What does it even entail?

Before we move on to that, let’s try to understand what we are working with.

What is the Dark Web?

We want to monitor the Dark Web, but what is it, really?
Put simply, it is a collection of websites that haven’t been indexed by search engines. Because of this, you can only visit them if you know the Onion link or if you have been invited by someone.

These websites have prioritized privacy and crypto anonymity. Not only are they not indexed, but they also bounce user traffic across multiple servers. They also use advanced encryption to hide their activities.

Just How Big is the Web?

Since you want to know how to monitor the Dark Web, let us talk about just how big the Internet is.

It keeps on expanding and is made up of three main layers: Surface Web, Deep Web, and Dark Web.

The Surface web is made up of all the things that we can access through URLs and search engines, through regular web browsers. It offers so many sites that we think it’s the Internet’s whole world – but it’s not.

We don’t know how many sites there are exactly since new ones pop up all the time, but the Surface web is definitely just a small percentage of the whole thing. A lot of the Internet is hidden or not indexed.

This brings us to the Deep Web, which isn’t an illegal place to be but not a place authorities want you to poke your nose in. It’s a place where various personal data and credentials are hiding out so that they’ll be safe from everyone else’s eyes.

The Deep Web may sound dodgy, but it’s not. It’s different from the Dark Web. The Dark Web is a collection of sites that haven’t been indexed by search engines. So, it’s tough to navigate them. You can use TOR to check their Onion sites as safely as possible.

Interestingly, though, the Dark Web is only a percent of the big, Deep Web. It’s where things go just a little crazy. It’s the place that you would want monitored. To visit this virtual space safely, you should use a Tor Browser.

Is Dark Web Monitoring Possible?

Dark web monitoring can be done. It’s usually done to check your company’s data to see if it’s suffering from breached credentials, compromised passwords, and stolen intellectual property.

So, dark web monitoring is a protective, defensive action that helps you check if your information is in danger of being stolen or attacked by cybercriminals.

When you use this process to check your company’s data, you not only take care of your corporation’s reputation but you also, most importantly, protect the individuals who own the data.

Dark web monitoring happens in real time. It’s constantly searching for raw intelligence. It scans millions of websites for data that is specific for a particular company. After a breach has been identified, your company can send a personalized notification to all of your clients. You should also send alerts to some specific departments: human resources, legal, marketing, and fraud.

What are the Features of Dark Web Monitoring?

The main features of dark web monitoring are security intelligence, threat spotting, incident response, and integrating the process into your privacy portals. Because we are in the 21st century, putting out your company on the Internet and conducting transactions online are often necessary. You may need to hire a specialist who can search and put together some of the possible threats to your data.

An investigation service specializing on the Dark Web will have to focus on any suspicious attempt so get into your personal information. It will be checking on any unusual activities and will be considering each as an attack.

With monitoring, you get to apply a quick incident response. You no longer have to wait for something to go terribly wrong before taking action.

You can take the info gathered and incorporate it into your other safety measures. After all, it’s not a one-time thing, but a continuous exercise toward keeping your company’s clients and your intellectual property safe. A security stack is better than just having one thing to protect everything.

What are the benefits of dark web monitoring?

From the features discussed above, you can already tell that dark web monitoring has a lot of benefits to offer your company. It may benefit your personal website but constant monitoring aligns more with a business entity.

With constant monitoring, you can easily safeguard your interests. It can prevent thieves from stealing your data for use in various nefarious ways. Because you are continuously protected, your company is less vulnerable. With that, your data is safer. You prevent it from getting exposed to the wrong people or from being wiped out. Certain cybercriminals can maliciously delete all of your important data.

Why is there a need to monitor the Dark Web closely?

The Dark Web is a space of unmonitored and often unregulated websites. Some are even less innocent than others.

Yes, you may find some people who are there simply for the privacy and anonymity the space affords but you’ll also find some criminals who are out there to conduct heinous crimes.

What exactly can you find there? Here are just some:

  • Stealing personal data such as bank account details and social security numbers
  • Sale of illegal firearms, prohibited drugs and stolen goods
  • Malware, viruses, phishing kits, bots, and hacking services
  • Identity theft and fraud
  • Other crimes

Not everything on the Dark Web is illegal, though. Some people just wants the privacy and anonymity it affords, just like Bitcoin or cryptocurrency traders who don’t want their transactions to be easily traceable to them. Sometimes, some people just don’t want anyone looking over their shoulders all the time.

But while you understand that, you also want to protect your company from all the other things that could be happening on the Dark Web.

How does Your Private Information End Up on the Dark Web?

Above, you have been told that cybercriminals may be selling your information on the Dark Web. That’s why you need to perform dark web monitoring so that you’re always aware of any breach in data.

Here are some ways they end up stealing your data:

  1. Phishing
  2. You may have heard of phishing. The crime itself happens on the Surface Web. You get an email from your bank or another site that you know you have an account with. Or you can end up visiting a dummy version of the original. It will look really close, copying the original’s looks and possibly using a URL that looks similar, too.

    The email or website will prompt you to enter some important details. You may be thinking you are logging in as usual when you are actually sending some cyber criminals your info.

  3. Malware and other malicious software
  4. When you download stuff from the Internet, especially those coming from suspicious sites or offering free stuff, you may end up with malware. Be careful when opening any type of file. You just may end up with malicious software.

    Your malicious software may not just infect your computer but may also install spyware or any other data extracting software into it. So, your data may be funneled into cybercriminals’ hands.

  5. Unsafe links or websites
  6. This particular point is similar to phishing. Do not click a link or go to a website if it is deemed unsafe. If you have a reliable antivirus, it will give you a warning if a website is not safe for you to visit.

    No, your antivirus isn't merely malfunctioning. You really should be more careful.

  7. Keylogging
  8. When you are logging into something, make sure that you are on the proper site. Check if the site’s certification is safe and updated and that its URL begins with https.

  9. Screen scraping
  10. Some cybercriminals obtain your information by taking it from your screen. It can be a malware that takes screenshots of your personal data or it can be as simple as a person checking out what you’re typing into your computer.

  11. Carelessness and oversharing

Occasionally, excessive sharing on social media can land you in trouble. Some people post their birth dates and favorite colors, for example, and then use them as their passwords.

What Tools Should You Look for in Your Dark Web Monitoring System?

There’s a number of dark web monitoring systems out there for you to choose from. So, you need to know how you can filter through the list and select the one that will serve you best. You will be using the services throughout. So, you need to make sure you are spending money on the right product. Here are some of the dark web monitoring tools and features you need:

  1. It has a fast data collection service.
  2. It doesn’t make sense for you to apply dark web monitoring if you need to wait for results for a long time, anyway. You need the results in real-time so that you can avoid getting your data stolen, exposed, and sold.

  3. It provides you with a sample report.
  4. A good service will provide you with a preview of what they can do for you before they even charge you. The developers should be confident enough to showcase their services to their potential paying subscribers.

    Being able to get a sample report will help you see if the service is what you need for your company.

  5. It should give you comprehensive service with a good subscription deal.
  6. Check the subscription prices and see what each option entails. Does the price work with your budget? Will the services be enough for your business?

  7. It delivers human-readable reports.
  8. You need reports that regular team members will be able to analyze. You desire something that is easily comprehensible. Do you want people to just tell you that “Oh, this is going to work well for you” without you knowing and seeing the proof right in front of your eyes.

  9. It supports your data gathering team by providing its members access to Darknet forums.
  10. Your team should be able to access Darknet forums. This way, they can see if there is any talk about your company or related industry that you need to know about.

    Such forums should reveal some of the new strategies that cybercriminals use to steal from various companies. Forum cruising can become part of your dark web monitoring strategy.

  11. It scans well-known Darknet sites.
  12. Your chosen service should be able to scan popular Darknet sites. It should at least be able to start from the surface and dig in further to find more relevant information for you.

    If a service can’t even scan the better known Darknet sites for you, how can it find the deeply hidden ones?

  13. It has a facility that filters and delivers only specific and relevant content.
  14. You don't desire an overwhelming amount of information. You want to go through information that you actually need. It should solely provide data on how your company’s information is being used elsewhere.

  15. It manages your identity.
  16. When cybercriminals steal from your company, the worst it can steal is your identity. It can start operating as if it’s being managed by someone from your headquarters, ruining your business and reputation.

    So, you need a Dark Web monitoring service that can provide you with reputation and identity management.



    Dark web monitoring may just be the answer to blocking attempts to use your personal data for nefarious deeds. Yes, you can use the service as an individual, but it is more often used by companies who have not only themselves to protect but their clients as well.

    With the use of a VPN, an antivirus, and some good old common sense when posting on social media. You may be able to prevent losing information or money on the Internet. For extra assistance, you can use dark web monitoring.

    For more information on cryptocurrencies, the Dark Web, and many other ways to protect yourself online, visit the blog page of the best bitcoin mixer,

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