Data breaches occur at an alarming rate. Admittedly, if you use a particular website or software, you may get a scare when a news outlet announces a data breach which has hit that website/software. Well, you should be worried, hackers out there are aiming to steal your data. You must obviously wonder what they do with the stolen data, in most cases they sell it on the dark web. Have you ever tried to put a price tag on what your personal data could cost? Research conducted by a security company after analyzing shady sites on the dark web tells you exactly that.
What type of personal data is marketed on the shadow market?
- The most popular of all ads seen are those offered selling stolen user credentials. Login details, especially emails/usernames and passwords for various online services, including but not limited to social networks and online banks.
- Information like scanned copies of identity documents (identity card, passports, licenses, driving permits). Criminal impersonators will pay to get their hands on this.
- Credit card details.
Online credentials: Sales are skyrocketing for user info especially for ecommerce sites like Amazon, mainly because such sites have bank cards linked to them. Credentials can be acquired for about $10. If you are an online bank user, an average cost is $22. When a set of stolen information from several users is sold at once, thousands of dollars are made.
Credit card info: When such data is sold, an attacker could chose to make online purchases or/and cash out on your funds. The details for a single bank card linked to an account containing hundred to thousands of dollars sells for a mean price of $9. Some cases require that bank sends text message to user before utilization of credit cards. A text message containing a one-time payment code is sold for $250.
Scanned documents: Personal and financial copies of individuals’ confidential documents are up for sale. For example; a scanned copy of passport averages $2.
Your personal data is therefore valuable. It may not look like it’s worth much, but it is. That’s why you should guard your data as much as possible. Take every possible security measure; set a stronger password, ensure 2 factor authentication, avoid clicking suspicious links which may lead to malicious sites, and most importantly, educate yourself on the latest security risks and safety measures.
Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Enjeck Mbeh Cleopatra
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