5 Ways to Keep Your Information Off the Dark Web

December 3, 2019 at 9:00 AM / by Juan Fernandez - VP of Managed IT Services

Over the last few years, corporate and personal data breaches have become a common occurrence. The 2019 Cost of Data Breach Report found that the global average cost of a data breach totaled $3.92 million, with the average size of data breach totaling 25,757 records lost and a cost of $150 per record stolen. You’ve probably read nightmare scenarios of individuals and businesses who’ve had their sensitive data stolen and then released on the dark web. Unfortunately, this is no exaggeration. The dark web is a perilous place where hackers can buy and sell your personal information, like social security numbers, health records, and credit card numbers, to the highest bidder.

What Is the Dark Web?

Think of it like an iceberg. Only a small portion of the entire iceberg is visible above water. The bulk lies beneath the water. The same is true for the World Wide Web. The everyday websites you visit, and those that are frequented by most of the population, are only the tip of the sites on the web. The internet is made up of three components:

      1. The Surface Web – These websites and pages can be accessed through search engines, or by typing an address into a browser. For example, imagenet.com and techtarget.com are both part of the surface web.

  1. The Deep Web – This is everything else on the internet not found by search engines. Your Amazon account and private Facebook profile are both on the deep web. Nobody can find them because they’re not being indexed by search engines.

  2. The Dark Web – The dark web is an encrypted part of the internet that exists within the deep web not accessible by everyday search engines like Google and Bing. Instead of accessing the dark web through a search engine, users must download special software that masks IP addresses and leaves visitors anonymous.

The  anonymity of the dark web is what makes it so powerful - and so dangerous. On one hand, the dark web helps give a voice to individuals like whistleblowers and citizens from countries with strict censorship policies. However, the anonymous, shadowed nature of the dark web allows hackers to roam free without any surveillance, making it a breeding ground for illegal activities.

Protect Your Information from the Dark Web

In an era when sensitive business or personal data is a hot commodity, you must have proper security protections in place to prevent your data from ending up in the wrong hands.

5 Ways to Keep Your Information Out of Hackers Hands and Off the Dark Web:

1. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication on ALL Your Online Accounts

Even social media accounts. Multi-factor authentication enables you to protect your accounts with an additional security prompt. In addition to entering your password, the site will send a code to your phone or email, which you’ll then enter to verify your identity.

2. Practice Safe and Secure Password Management.

This means changing your password every 30 to 90 days and using a different password for every account. The average employee uses the same password thirteen times, hampering the security of their accounts. Tools like LastPass are useful to users who would like to automate secure passwords and track those passwords so they know when to change them.

3. Ensure You have Proper Malware/Antivirus

Malware/Antivirus software are designed to prevent viruses, spyware, adware, trojans and malware infections on your computer. If one of these programs is detected, the software works to notify you and remove the program from your computer.

4. Keep Your Software Up to Date

Malware/Antivirus services are constantly finding new threats and updating their procedures. Make sure to update your software so you are protected from the newest and more sophisticated threats.

5. Run a Dark Web Scan 
While the prospect of having your information stolen and sold on the dark web is a scary one, it’s better to know than to remain… in the dark about it. If your information has been compromised, we can help you take actions to remedy it and regain your security and peace of mind.

Don’t be left in the dark when it comes to data breaches and business security vulnerabilities. Find out if your business information has been targeted or compromised today. Our dark web scan goes far beyond simple malware and virus scans.

ImageNet's Dark Web Assessment includes:

  • Vulnerability Assessment
    Designed to help you keep pace with evolving threats. This assessment evaluates current IT systems to determine exploitable vulnerabilities.
  • Penetration Testing
    Our team performs “ethical hacking” to identify vulnerabilities that can’t be found without significant manual analysis of poor passwords & chain-of-trust issues.
  • Configuration Review
    Our security engineers review the configuration of various platforms & make recommendations to bring your systems in line with the latest best practices.
  • Framework Assessment
    For a complete gap analysis, we will interview members of your organization & determine where to make improvements to your security.
  • Compliance Assessment
    We identify compliance data security shortfalls to help resolve problems and help you meet regulatory requirements.
  • Microsoft Office 365 Security & Compliance Check
    We’ll identify gaps in the security and compliance features of Office 365 and create a centralized, simplified solution plan.

    Get Your Free Dark Web Assessment

Managed IT Helps Solve Your Security Woes

Partnering with a Managed IT provider ensures you have proper, ongoing security protocols in place and compliance requirements are continually met. We’ll watch your network around the clock and continually manage firewalls and maintenance to keep your technology secure.

Contact one of our Managed IT specialists today to receive your full network assessment and dark web scan and learn how we can help back up your IT team with customized IT support and simplify security for your business.


Topics: Cybersecurity

Written by Juan Fernandez - VP of Managed IT Services

Juan Fernandez is the VP of Managed IT Services for Imagenet Consulting. He has been in the IT industry for over 22 years. Over the last 22+ years, he has worked for several companies, such as San Juan College, Honeywell International, and Sandia Labs. With proficiencies on HIPAA and PCI, compliance he has focused on small business, government, education, healthcare, and financial industries. Juan believes in best of breed technologies education and certifications and was recently selected to assist in writing the CompTIA A+ and Security + tests and was also invited to participate in validating the CASP (CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner). Juan was also selected to join the CompTIA Subject Matter Expert Technical Advisory board. He is dedicated to improving service delivery through embracing effective and efficient use of technology, creating effective business models for delivering new IT-based services such as SaaS, DRaaS, and HaaS. Juan is active in technology collaborations related to strategy, computer infrastructure, and cybersecurity. He has served as a leader to many organizations and is an experienced presenter at technology seminars and conferences. Juan holds a BS degree in computer science from Western Governors University, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Cisco Certified Network Administrator and Network +, Security +, A+ Certified, Certified Internet web professional.

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