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Don’t Go to the Dark (Web) Side

The story of the hacking frenzy would be incomplete without mentioning the dark web. Some adventurous souls might think they can just drop in for a quick visit to see what’s it like and leave, but two thoughts come to mind: Trying to leave the Hotel California and a lamb sauntering into a lions’ den. Resist the temptation to take a peek.

Trying to poke around the dark web just for grins is the equivalent of going to a bad neighborhood at 2 a.m. just for sake of seeing what it’s like. It’s the place where stolen information, such as driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, health records and the like are bought and sold. It’s no place for thrill seekers.

Yes, there are websites that will provide you with information on how to get to the dark web, and privacy is critical. Those who trade illicit information guard their privacy very tightly, and they use special VPNs (virtual private networks) to make sure they minimize detection by other criminals or law enforcement officials. And, you also want to minimize your exposure to other criminals who won’t think twice about stealing info and money from you.

Cybercriminals using the dark web never use any common ISPs (internet service providers) or browsers. That’s like walking into the bad neighborhood wearing a bright-colored reflective jacket. Rather, the dark web relies on special browsers designed to be undetectable. Users are advised to disconnect and/or disable recording devices such as microphones and cameras.

Dark web transactions are generally done using Bitcoin or some other form of cryptocurrency that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to trace the hands through which money passes. Users of the dark web generally use multiple aliases and anonymous email addresses to hide their identities and locations.

Criminals on the dark web know that other criminals and law enforcement agencies are marshaling all the tools they can to crack the dark webs, and the sophistication on both sides is constantly evolving. If you suspect some members of your family or employees might be thinking about taking a little peek at the dark web, let them know it can be an extremely dangerous undertaking. Once anyone wanders in, they’re prey for hardened criminals, and it’s unlikely they can wander back out.

If you’re concerned about whether someone in your home or office may have compromised your system’s security in some way, call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us for a security audit. If there’s something going on, we can take steps to mitigate the effects.