What Is Dark Web Monitoring?

Dark web monitoring, also known as cyber monitoring, is an identity theft prevention product that enables you to monitor your identity information on the dark web, and receive notifications if your information is found online. The dark web, described in this article as the underbelly of the Internet, is a shrouded area of the internet, hidden from search engines and only accessible with a special web browser. It also masks IP addresses, which essentially allows fraudsters to operate undetected to commit crimes, including identity theft.

What Does Experian Offer to Monitor My Identity on the Dark Web?

Experian's IdentityWorks Premium includes Dark Web Surveillance for comprehensive dark web monitoring to protect you from the financial and reputational harm that can result from identity theft.

What Types of Information Can Be Monitored by Experian's Dark Web Surveillance?

  • Social security number
  • Email address
  • Passport number
  • Medical identification numbers
  • Bank account numbers
  • Phone numbers
  • Driver's license
  • Credit/debit cards
  • Retail/membership cards

For Dark Web Monitoring, Where Do We Look for Your Monitored Information?

Experian's Dark Web Internet Surveillance monitors the depths of the web to identify activity associated with your identity. Once you provide the personal information you'd like to monitor, Dark Web Internet Surveillance searches through thousands of websites and millions of data points using a variety of data gathering techniques—including chat room monitoring, crawling/scraping, and forum extraction.

We Monitor a Vast Network of Online Sources, Including:

  • Web pages
  • Blogs
  • Bulletin boards
  • Peer-to-peer sharing networks
  • Forums and chat rooms on the publicly accessible Internet and the dark web
  • Malware samples
  • Social media feeds
  • Web services, servers and file transmissions

How Does Dark Web Surveillance Work?

  • You are in control of what information you want to be monitored on the dark web. For the information you choose to monitor, just enter the relevant details directly in your Experian Dark Web Surveillance account.
  • For all the information you choose to monitor, you will receive alerts via email and within your Experian account. If the information you receive in the alert is familiar to you, not additional action is needed. However, if you don't recognize the information, we will let you know the next steps you should take to ensure your identity is safe.

What Types of Alerts Will I Receive with Experian IdentityWorks Premium?

  • Dark Web Internet Surveillance
  • Financial Account Takeover
  • Social Security Number Trace
  • National Change of Address
  • Court Records
  • Non-Credit Loans
  • Social Network
  • Sex Offender Registry
  • Identity Validation
  • Your social networks

What Is the Risk of ID Theft?

The risk posed by identity theft is financial—or sometime reputational—damage.

According to Identity Theft Resource Center, the number of U.S. data breaches tracked in 2016 hit an all-time record high of 1,093, a 40% increase from 2015.

If your information is stolen by an identity thief, many times, it is sold on the dark web. After a breach, identity thieves often use dark web sites to buy and sell consumer data, such as social security numbers, bank and credit card account numbers, and other personally identifying information. Other criminals or criminal networks then buy this data and use it for fraud, such as creating synthetic identities, opening bank accounts and other malicious activities.

There is no expiration date on the value of most personal data stolen in a data breach, and your personal information can be exposed—and used by identity thieves—for years after a data breach. In fact, some identity thieves anticipate breach fatigue and practice patience, waiting until the fear and anxiety of the moment have passed and consumers let down their guard and stop watching for the signs of fraud. The lesson here is that although data breaches are not likely to stop any time soon, monitoring your online information can let you sleep a little better knowing you will be notified if you need to take action to prevent financial or reputational harm.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.

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