Login | December 15, 2019

You and the dark web: Protect yourself!

Technology for Lawyers

Published: June 28, 2019

According to some estimates, as much as 90% of the internet is “dark.” That is—it is encrypted and designed for privacy, security and anonymity.

One way of describing this is to say that the “dark web” is that part of the internet that can’t be found through a Google search.

That is, most of it.

And many people and businesses (including denizens of the law biz) have no idea what the dark web is or how harmful dark web activity can be.

The dark web includes all encrypted traffic, including business emails, WhatsApp messages, etc.

In other words, much of what comprises standard business communication these days.

But it also includes the online shopping malls selling everything illegal you could think of-- from guns and drugs to stolen data.

If you have ever had data stolen (and you probably have), it is for sale on the dark web.

And don’t expect law enforcement to be much help. The situation is almost completely overwhelming. You are on your own, for the most part.

If your stolen is a credit card number, you can always cancel and replace the card. But if that includes your social security number, address, drivers license number or other personal info that doesn’t change much, that stolen information can be a source of danger for years, or even for your entire life.

Scared? Hope so. Here’s what you can do about all that.

First, the dark web is scary and messy and difficult to navigate.

Going out there without knowing anything about it will be disastrous.

But there are ways to monitor activity on the dark web to see if your data is being compromised.

First, if you have an IT department, make sure that dark web monitoring is part of their manifest.

First, several credit monitoring companies offer dark web monitoring. But this may not be sufficient for something as complex as a law office.

If you or someone in your office are technologically proficient, you can go out there using some available monitoring tools that can be licensed.

A couple of the products are SpyCloud, Digital Shadows and DigitalStakeout Scout. Dashlane monitors email accounts.

If you want to hire outside help (recommended), there are companies that can monitor the dark web for you. These include AlienVault, PhishLabs and Dark Web ID.

Tread carefully but do something or be prepared to lose everything.