Dark Web Trend: Consumer Breaches Decline but Data Threats Remain

by Mike Hunter

According to Dark Web Monitor data, 62% of its users have had their data breached on the dark web. In 2019, around a third of breaches affected more than 1M users. In 2020, this percentage dropped to 18%. In 2021, only 10% of breaches affected millions of users. In 2022, this number is even smaller — 7%.

“On the one hand, this is great news. On the other hand, we don’t see cybercrime slowing down because of those numbers. A recent report by Verizon showed that around 50% of security incidents in 2021 happened due to leaked credentials. So criminals continue to reuse and exploit the data that was leaked on the dark web in the past,” says Daniel Markuson,  cybersecurity expert at NordVPN.

“Most businesses are doing everything in their power to protect customers’ data. So when companies get hacked, consumer data is rarely affected. But users still have a lot to learn because human error causes 95% of cybersecurity incidents,” says Markuson.

Below, Markuson lists the number of ways users can stop criminals from exploiting user data that  was leaked on the dark web in the past: 

Practice digital hygiene. Digital hygiene includes changing passwords to the most important online accounts at least twice a year, clearing cookies and browsing history regularly, deleting inactive accounts and enabling multi-factor authentication. 

Be aware of social engineering attacks. Criminals can find personal details such as name, address, birth date and phone number as well as email addresses leaked on the dark web. So when they contact their victims, their emails could sound very trustworthy. Grammar mistakes, strange-looking links, and attachments often reveal that the email is from an attacker.

Use tools like Dark Web Monitor. Tools like NordVPN’s Dark Web Monitor leave no room to second guess and inform users if their data was found in a data leak. That way, a person can utilize extra security measures to secure online accounts.

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