These days, all confidential data, whether personal or business, is at risk of being stolen by cybercriminals. Many people tend to think along the lines of, “That will never happen to me!” but unfortunately, it can.
Thousands of people are impacted by the dark web on a daily basis, so it’s important to educate yourself on what exactly the dark web is and how you can keep your information off of it.
New to the dark web? We break things down in here. The dark web is known for being utilized for illegal activity, and isn’t a place where you want your data to end up.
Luckily, being informed when it comes to cyber security will help keep your information off of the dark web.
There are concrete steps you can take to stay safe from phishing scams, stolen information, and ransomware – all acts that could leave your information at risk.
Use a Strong Password
We’ve said it before, but too many people underestimate the importance of strong, unique passwords when it comes to protecting their information. Take a look at the characteristics each of your passwords should have if you’re looking to keep confidential data safe from the dark web.
It’s important to never share your password, and never use names or familiar phrases inside your passwords. Instead, use a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters, and change your passwords frequently.
Tools like LastPass are excellent for teams to use when hoping to keep their passwords secure.
Train Your Employees
Unfortunately, all it takes is one mistake from one staff member to put your organization’s information on the dark web. The best thing you can do to prevent this? Regularly train your employees on all things cyber security.
Cyber security training should be a rigorous part of your onboarding process, and you should implement regular training throughout the year for all employees. Building a cyber-aware culture is essential, as the more people know about cyber threats, the more alert they can be.
Running “live fire” cyber attacks is a great way to put your team members in a situation where they need to act quickly to protect your organization. Whether you alert your employees to when the simulation will be taking place or not, walking them through the steps they need to take should your data be stolen will help prevent it from ending up on the dark web.
Like a fire drill, these simulations should take place multiple times a year, keeping them fresh in the minds of your team members.
Use & Update Proper Software
If your company isn’t using anti-virus and malware protection software, now’s the time to start. Talk to your IT service provider about the software you can use to keep your information far away from the dark web.
Once using this software, ensure it’s updated regularly. Typically, software updates come with various patches that will protect you from the latest cyber threats.
Pay Close Attention to Emails
Phishing scams are one of the most popular ways hackers steal data and put it on the dark web. Educate yourself on what different phishing attacks can look like and how you can prevent them from taking advantage of your employees.
Emails that ask you for personal information, passwords, or to send over any kind of attachments are red flags to watch out for. Make sure each team member understands both the signs and dangers of phishing scams.
Set Up Alerts
Most accounts, especially those with sensitive data, allow you to set up alerts should anyone try to access your account from a new device. These should be set up for all of your personal and business accounts.
The right antivirus software will also allow you to set up alerts that notify you if anything suspicious is detected on your device. All employees should have access to the same high-quality software to prevent their data from hitting the dark web.
Establish Remote Working Rules
Does your organization allow its employees to work from home? If so, you’ll want to have a set of rules in place regarding internet and device use when outside of the office.
If your team members are using any form of public Wi-Fi, make sure they know about the risks associated with doing so. We break down how you can safely use public Wi-Fi networks here.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
All of your accounts, business and personal, should have multi-factor authentication (MFA) enabled. MFA is an authentication method that requires users to prove their identity through multiple credentials before accessing an account.
It acts as an extra layer of protection for your accounts, keeping out cybercriminals who may be looking to sell your information on the dark web. Make sure your employees are aware of the benefits of MFA and how they can enable it on their accounts.
Run a Dark Web Scan
Your IT service provider can help you determine if your information is on the dark web already. If it’s not, make sure you have a plan for what to do if it ends up there eventually.
You might need to freeze your accounts or contact your bank about the next steps to take. But, no matter what, make sure you know what to do should the dark web possess any of your confidential data.
Know the Signs
Our blog post here covers exactly how information can end up on the dark web. Educate yourself about the signs of a data breach and the steps you can take should your organization fall victim to a cybercrime.
Continuous training is again important here, as you’ll want to be updated on the ever-changing field of cyber threats and what these attacks can look like.
Consult Your IT Service Provider
It’s always wise to work with a professional regarding your security measures. Send us a message if you have any questions about the dark web and how you can keep your data secure.
Our experts will give you the answers you need to build an organization safe from cyber threats!