Protect your personal data before it hits the dark web

Louella Tangpuz, Trainee
PUBLISHED April 2, 2018 09:19 am
Photo by iStockphoto

(Inside Manila) Millennials love to be informed with the latest news and trends. This sometimes leads to signing up for websites or using personal cards for transactions.


There are three billion compromised accounts in major data breaches at banks and sites like Yahoo. This means your personal data can travel to the dark web where networks of encrypted, often shadowy websites are not indexed by common search engines.


When massive data breaches happen at websites where you have an account, it is safe to assume that your personal data has made it to the deep dark web. For instance, the username and password you have at a bank credit card institution have been compromised.


Can you recover data? Sadly, no.


First off, the dark web is so different that you need special software to use it. Second, once the criminals get your personal data, it’s immediately copied multiple times.


Brian Contos, chief information security officer at Verodin, a cyber-security firm, told Fox News, “Digital data is copied, moved, altered, downloaded and uploaded at internet-speed. “With billions of connected devices and trillions of gigabytes of digital data, full discovery of where your data is and attempted recovery [or] destruction isn’t a tenable option.”


The best way to protect your personal data is to have good password etiquette. This includes changing passwords every so often and making sure every account has a different one.


There’s also a site called Have I been pwned (an internet slang term used to describe defeat) that provides a comprehensive list of major data breaches.


It allows users to check if their email address has been hacked. Best thing is, this site is free of charge.


Experian PLC, a consumer credit reporting agency, also offers a free service to check if your data has been compromised.


But the best practice still is to always make sure your passwords are not easy to guess and if possible, enable two-step verification for extra safety.

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