When a website you use gets hacked...
… and hackers post your personal info online...
… we spot the hack and tell you how to stay safe.
Data brokers collect info about you based on your online activity, including your finances, health, and even address.
They sell this info to third parties. Insurance companies may use it to raise your rates, banks may refuse you a loan, and more.
BreachGuard removes your info from data broker databases so it can’t be sold to these third parties.
Quickly assess how private your online accounts are and get advice on how to improve it.
Your personal info exists in three main areas that may compromise your privacy:
These include the dark web, which is where hackers can sell the information they’ve stolen, as well as buy information like credit card numbers from other hackers, putting you at risk of identity theft.
These consist of third-party data brokers and advertising companies that may have collected your sensitive information without your knowledge or consent. Selling your information in these legal marketplaces is perfectly acceptable in the eyes of the law, but most people consider the practice very intrusive.
Services like Facebook and Google rely on data that you have submitted to them. However, this information is often stored for longer than you may know, or is combined with additional data to form insights about you.
A data broker is a company that collects and sells personal information. Generally, they use high-tech methods to track your behavior on websites and applications, and combine that info with profiles they buy about you from other corporations. This can include information about your finances, health, and identifying data such as your address and information about your online activities. Spooky? You bet. Data brokers are everywhere these days (there are thousands of them), as data brokering is a multi-billion dollar industry.
The dark web is a section of the deep web (parts of the internet not accessible via search engines) that can only be accessed with the anonymizing Tor browser. Despite its reputation, there is nothing intrinsically bad about the dark web — it’s just an extra-anonymous part of the internet. But that extra anonymity does enable people to do some bad stuff, such as hackers buying and selling personal data that may have been collected illegally in a data breach. Note that data brokers don’t operate on the dark web.
It’s not easy. Third-party data brokers and other companies create highly detailed profiles about you based on your web browsing habits and even offline information like in-store credit card purchases. Worse, these companies sell and share this information with other businesses for profit. To remove your info from the internet, you would have to request that each individual data broker do so. They’re legally obligated to comply, but it’s a time-consuming and complicated process.
Services like Facebook, Google, and others generally permit you to remove your information or enhance your privacy settings, but it can be difficult to find and properly use these features. Unfortunately, if your information is being sold on the dark web, it’s nearly impossible to remove it. This is why preventative security measures are crucial.
A data breach usually refers to an event where sensitive information is exposed or compromised.Your information is likely stored in hundreds or thousands of databases worldwide, based on services or websites you’ve used in the past. Most companies strive to protect the data you trust them with, because they know it can do serious damage in the wrong hands. Which is exactly why hackers are almost always trying to do just that. Once your information has been leaked, it may end up for sale on the dark web.
Identity theft is when a criminal uses your personal information — your name, your financial data, personal identifiers like your social security number, and more — to impersonate you, online or off. In the online space, it generally means using data that’s been stolen from you to make accounts in your name, buy things with your money, and possibly even use your identity to try and scam others. information has been leaked, it may end up for sale on the dark web.
The best way to create a strong password is to use a password manager, which will create a random string of characters to act as your password, and automatically fill out your login information so you don’t have to memorize it. But if you do need to make a new password, it’s better to use a pass-phrase rather than a password. A pass-phrase is a string of words that aren’t traditionally coherent, but easy to memorize, such as AlabamaFootballWasBest2002-2012.