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5 Ways to Keep Your Information Off the Dark Web

September 29, 2020 at 9:30 AM / by Juan Fernandez - VP of Managed IT Services

Over the last few years, corporate and personal data breaches have become a common occurrence. IBM's 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report found that the global average cost of a data breach totaled $3.86 million, with the time to identify and contain a breach averaging 280 days. 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.

How to 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 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’s 26-year career in the IT industry is a testament to his investment in improving business outcomes with technology and developing the IT industry. His entire career is dedicated to improving service delivery by embracing effective and efficient use of technology through a vision of technology, security, and compliance for small business, government, education, healthcare, and financial industries. Mr. Fernandez has created effective business models for delivering IT-based services such as DaaS, SaaS, DRaaS, HaaS, XaaS, and promoting online development opportunities to increase individual self-service capabilities and leading strategic initiatives to effectively transform technology to be simple, flexible, adaptable, and responsive to the customer needs. He has focused his career on educating customers and companies on his Making “IT” Simple approach. Mr. Fernandez was recognized at HP’s Global Partner Event in 2019 as HP DaaS Innovator of the Year, alongside ImageNet’s HP Partner of the Year award for 2019. Juan and the ImageNet team won Continuum’s 2019 “Growth Partner of the Year” and “Hyper Growth Partner” for 201% growth in 12 months. Mr. Fernandez is part of the select group who writes the CompTIA A+, Network +, Security + Tests, and sits on the CompTIA Subject Matter Expert Technical Advisory board and the CompTIA Channel Advisor board. He was elected Vice-Chair in 2020. He was the winner of the 2018 Continuum MSP Shark Tank for best security and services presentation, which set the stage for an all-inclusive Security and Device-as-a-Service model, establishing the framework for channel and MSP models. Juan sits on the Forbes Magazine Technology Council, Konica Minolta Global IT Services Council, Unitrends Partner Advisory board, HP DaaS Advisory Committee for Device-as-a-Service, WatchGuard Advisory Board, serves as a Channel Futures MSP Mentor and works with many other channel companies to develop the future of technology and XaaS models.

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